Madden Legislation Establishing Statewide Database On Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Clears Committee

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred Madden (D – Gloucester, Camden) that would require the reporting of children’s sudden cardiac events and establish a statewide database to keep track of such information cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

“This kind of registry will organize and provide an abundance of information that will allow us to help our children before it is too late,” said Madden. “It is just one of the many ways I hope to bring attention to the very serious, very real issue of sudden cardiac arrest in our young people.”

The bill, S1911, also known as the “Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Reporting Act,” would require a health care professional who makes the diagnosis of a sudden cardiac event in a child under 19 years old or who makes the actual determination and pronouncement of the death of a child, as applicable, to report the event to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). It would establish the Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Registry in DHSS. The registry would include a record of all sudden cardiac events reported and any other information that DHSS deems relevant and appropriate.

The measure is just one of a series of bills Senator Madden has sponsored that came from recommendations made by the New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force, which officially issued its report earlier in the year on how to prevent sudden cardiac death in student athletes between the ages of 12 and 19. Additional legislation he has sponsored include:

S1910, which would require certain health insurers to cover the cost of annual physical examinations for student athletes; the “Children’s Sudden Cardiac Events Reporting Act,” S-1912, which would update the pre-participation history and physical examination form, ensure all healthcare professionals who conduct pre-participation histories and physical examinations of student athletes are properly licensed, ensure these same individuals participate in the appropriate continuing education courses, and that all student athletes and their parents or guardians certify that they have read and reviewed the “Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Athletes” pamphlet.

In 2009, the Legislature responded to concern over a growing number of sudden deaths in student athletes by passing Senator Madden’s legislation establishing the task force. The task force was given the responsibility of studying, evaluating and developing recommendations relating to specific actionable measures to enhance screening of student athletes for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other life-threatening cardiac conditions.

S1911 now heads to the full Senate.

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