Support Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention in Your School Community

State Senator Brian Jones introduced SB1135 to augment the impact the Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act has made to protect young hearts. Since its passage in 2017, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) prevention protocol has continued to evolve, namely with 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines that call for all youth to get a heart screening at least every three years, and especially upon entry to middle, junior and high school.

To support the acceleration of preventative heart care for our kids, SB1135 would add to the current Education Code the framework for the California Youth Cardiac Screening Pilot, a free, voluntary screening program in school communities to collect data to support the continued evolution of these guidelines to find the 1 in 300 youth at risk from an undetected heart condition.

The underpinning of this initiative is the fact that about half of youth stricken by sudden cardiac arrest had no warning signs or family risk factors that would’ve triggered diagnostic followup to identify their heart condition before tragedy struck. The pilot is meant to provide a life-saving service to California youth while collecting the data necessary to continue to evolve the standard of care.

The concept supports the CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, which recognizes that education, public health and school health sectors must have greater alignment and collaboration, specifically in the areas of health education, health services, community involvement and family engagement, and above all, engaging students as active participants in their learning and health. WSCC asserts that schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and establishing lifelong behavior, which is why this bill seeks to collaborate with schools to advance this public health initiative, as well as empower the next generation of life savers to eradicate SCA in their lifetime.

Senate Education Committee Hearing
Support Testimony • March 30, 2022