Pass a law in Florida

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           Making the Case for HB 157/ SB 280

Filed by: Representative Fred Hawkins and Senator Dennis Baxley 2021

Bill Synopsis:  

• A 1 hour, hands only CPR training high school graduation requirement
• Training must include the use of an automated external defibrillator
• Requires an electrocardiogram (EKG) for FHSAA athletic participation

The Problem:

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association recognizes there aremore than 350,000 out-of-hospital and 209,000 in-hospital cardiac arrests annually.  SCA is not a heart attack – it’s an electrical or structural problem that causes a fatal arrhythmia, or otherwise known as a deadly heartbeat. The underlying condition is something you’re born with (often inherited) or can develop as young hearts grow. The first symptom of SCA is often death, either because the warning signs of an underlying heart condition were not recognized, or help was not administered within minutes of the event. CPR is arguably the most import skill a human can learn as it is used for multiple deadly situations.

The Need:

Florida ranks No. 1, 2, and 3 in the country for drowning deaths, deaths by lightening, heart related death, deaths by accident, and drug overdose deaths. Since 2002, 6605 Children have died in Florida due to cardiac disease. While some of these acts are unavoidable, CPR, if administered within 3-5 minutes, can reduce the total deaths by 30% and with an AED by 50%. Furthermore, Florida is an outlier. Florida is only 1 of 7 states that does not require high school students to learn a 1 hour, Hands Only life-saving skill.

What you should know:

• According to the National EMS Information System, it takes an average of 8-12 minutes for first responders to arrive. A victim must have CPR within 3-5 minutes, or the outcome will be brain damage or death. Every minute delayed in treating an SCA victim decreases survival by 10%. Bystanders with CPR training are vital to sustaining life until Medical Professionals arrive at scene.
• A University of Washington study found that when CPR and an AED are used immediately, the survival rate jumps to 64%. Training is literally a life-saving initiative. For athletes, there is a University of Washington study that shows an 89% survival of athletes with CPR AND AED response within 3 minutes.
• 350,000 Americans, including 7,037 children die annually from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
— That equates to 1,000 SCA deaths every day in the United States;  20 children of those are children under age 18-EVERY SINGLE DAY
• 47,000 Floridians died last year from Cardiac Conditions.
• 70% of SCA Deaths happen at home.  
• During SCA, bystanders have 3-5 minutes to respond before irreversible brain and heart damage occurs.
• Only 10% of victims survive SCA.  
• 1 out of 4 American deaths are due to Heart Disease with half of those due to SCA.
• American Heart Association Statistics show:  30% increase in survival with Bystander CPR alone. This equates to 100,000 lives per year/300 lives per day saved.
• 50% survival with CPR and the use of an AED. This Equates to 175,000 lives per year/ 500 lives per day saved.  

Effects on Minority and Economically Disadvantaged Populations:

People who are African American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged are at least 2-4X more likely to die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest compared to people who are white. SCA is responsible for a disproportionate amount of African American deaths. Multiple studies show this is in large part due to the lack of emergency response education and available AED equipment. This law will ensure every kid in our state is trained to save lives.

• Multiple sources reveal a victim’s zip-code will decide the life or death outcome when someone dies suddenly. This can be mitigated with the implementation of this proposal.

What most Legislators, administrators, coaches, and parents don’t know about SCA:

• On average, 20 children die DAILY from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the United States. 

• At least 7,037 kids die of SCA every single year
• SCA is the #1 killer of student athletes…more than injuries and concussions
• SCA is the #1 Killer on School Campus…more than Guns, fires, injuries
• SCA is the #1 medical cause of death among youth under the age of 18…more than cancer
• 1 in 300 youth have an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk for SCA, yet they are cleared to play sports. These children are walking our hallways and taking to sports fields every day.
• 96% of Deadly Heart Conditions are missed on the Required Sports Physical with the stethoscope.  
• Up to 95% of Deadly Heart Conditions missed on Sports Physical Exams can be diagnosed with a 5-minute EKG

The NFL, MLS, NBA, and 75% of Division 1 NCAA sports programs perform an EKG and other heart screens to clear athletes.  High School Athletes are only required a Physical Exam which misses 96% of deadly cardiac conditions. A $20, 5 minute EKG can help diagnose up to 95% of deadly cardiac conditions missed on the required Sports Physical Exam.

Of the leading causes of youth death (accidents, suicide, homicide, cancer, and heart conditions), Sudden Cardiac Arrest is arguably the THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN BE PREVENTED through primary and secondary prevention strategies.

The COVID-19 Factor

• COVID-19 has increased Sudden Cardiac Death by 50% compared to last year.
• Athletes are at much higher risk of COVID-19 related Myocarditis which increases Sudden Cardiac Arrest risk exponentially.