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Minutes for HB2659 - Committee on Education

Short Title

Enacting the sudden cardiac arrest prevention act to require school information and policies to address sudden cardiac arrest in school athletic activities.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 15, 2022

The Chairperson opened the hearing on HB2659.

Jason Long, Office of the Revisor, gave an overview of the bill.  (Attachment 1)  The bill covers four areas, information/training of the issue overall, policy for students who have symptoms of sudden cardiac attest (SCA), official training for each coach, and suspension penalties on any coach who has not been officially trained.  He responded to Committee questions. 

Proponent Conferees

Brian Connell, parent, shared a personal story about his son who had a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while pitching during a baseball game at Blue Valley in 2019.  This bill is crafted to educate parents, athletic trainers, coaches, students, and others to become aware of what the signs of SCA are.  The top killer of Americans is cardiac arrest.  The leading cause of death for student athletes is Sudden Cardiac Arrest.  Connell clarified the difference between the two.  Cardiac Arrest, a heart attack, is basically plumbing that is not working properly but SCA is electrical, similar to a light being shut off.  It is sudden and absolute.  Connell described his son's sudden collapse on the pitching mound and people in the crowd rushed forward to help.  He wants to stop the trauma that this event causes, not just with the victim and family, but with the coach and all those involved.  Connell stated knowledge saves lives.  Fainting, for instance, is a precursor.  Parents need to know this is a symptom of SCA.  Only one out of every ten persons who have a SCA will live.  If this bill, he urges, saves one more child, encourages parents to pay attention to the symptoms, then it is worth putting into law.  Connell shared that his son was able to have his heart's flaw fixed.  He noted that Texas passed this same proposed bill, and while not perfect, it is clearly a step in the right direction. (Attachment 2)

Jana Rojas, parent, shared she is the mother of a child that had a SCA.  She described how viruses can cause this health issue.  Nationally about 2,000 children die from SCA yearly.  It is the leading cause of student athletes.  Myocarditis can be caused by both Covid and the Covid vaccines.  She urged the Committee to support this awareness legislation.  (Attachment 3)

There was a conversation between Deputy Commissioner Craig Neuenswander, the conferees, and the Committee members about how this condition might be publicized and what training could be put into practice. 

Neutral Testimony Written Only

Deana Horst and Ben Jones, Legislative Liaisons, Kansas State Board of Education  (Attachment 4)

Dr. Phillip Vardiman, President, Kansas Athletic Trainers Society  (Attachment 5)

Chairperson Huebert thanked everyone and indicated that he was not planning on working this bill, but noted the presentation was very informative and he hoped that this issue can be incorporated into present practice without putting it in statute.  He closed the hearing on HB2659.