Life-Saving Legislation Could Require PA Schools to Have AEDs  

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“I’m sorry, you didn’t have an AED? I’m sorry, the coaches weren’t trained? They didn’t know what to do? That’s unacceptable,” said Downingtown’s Christy Marshall-Silva at a news conference in Chester County earlier this week, writes Abraham Gutman for The Philadelphia Inquirer.    

Marshall-Silva lost her 7-year-old son Aidan Joseph Silva in 2010, when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. The family didn’t have an automatic defibrillator that could have saved his life.  

Now, Marshall-Silva is making it her mission to expand access to this life-saving equipment to schools across the state.  

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reports that more than 2,000 children die from sudden cardiac arrest a year in the nation. A huge portion of these deaths, about two-thirds occurs during a sports-related activity at school.  

Two newly introduced bills by the state Senate could change that. Senate Bill 512 and Senate Bill 513 requires schools and other facilities with school-related activities to have at least one AED, and emergency response teams in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. It also requires coaches to be CPR-certified.

State Sen. Kate Muth, who introduced the bills, mentioned Damar Hamlin as a reason to support this legislation. Muth said that when Hamlin collapsed on national television during a Buffalo Bills game, people all over the U.S. saw how emergency plans can save lives.  

“It’s so critical that our children are surrounded by individuals who are prepared to act and to save a life,” Muth said. 

Read more about these bills in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

How to use an AED defibrillator.

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