Support Letter for SB1135
Senator Brian Jones
State of California, 38th Senate District
1021 O Street, Room 7140
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Support for SB1135: California Youth Heart Screening Pilot Program
Honorable Committee Members:
Eric and Ciara. (El Cajon). Jackie. (Vista). Anthony (San Marcos). Frank (Long Beach). Mason (Whittier). Taylor (Ramona). Max (Agoura). Erik (Marysville). Megan, Kevin, Austin & Logan (Orange County). Chris (Riverside). Brandon and Marco (Oceanside). Bryan (Chula Vista). Mitchell (Anaheim Hills). Olivia and Alberto (Bakersfield). Caleb (Corona). Jose (Delano). Nikki (Sherman Oaks). Angela and Cassidy (Los Angeles). TJ. (Monterey County). Travis (Murrieta). Shauna (Yorba Linda). Mikey (Los Gatos). Ted (Berkeley). Kyle (Santa Cruz). Festus (Torrance). Daniel (Brea). Kim, Aaron and Emmanuel (Sacramento). And so many more not mentioned here.
In the name of all our state’s youth stricken by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), we whole-heartedly support this bill to protect California’s young hearts.
As reported by the National Emergency Medical Services Information System, 23,000 youth are stricken annually by a heart condition that often has unrecognized warning signs. In fact, up to 50% of youth stricken had no symptoms or risk factors. With studies showing 1 in 300 youth has an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledging warning signs and risk factors are often missed by practitioners and parents alike, it’s time for a new approach to this time-worn problem.
While there’s growing recognition of the value of this public health surveillance, evidenced by President Biden’s authorization of ECG screening for young cadets entering U.S. military academies, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) collaboration with Duke University and the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium on a national cardiac screening warehouse pilot study, the majority of children with undetected heart conditions are still at risk.
The California Youth Heart Screening Pilot Program would extend a successful screening model to kids across our diverse and populous state while collecting data on this critical public health issue that ultimately is the cause of more 350,000 U.S. deaths each year when kids grow up with undetected heart conditions.
Of the many tragedies that befall our children, including the leading causes of death (accidents, suicide, homicide, cancer and heart conditions), SCA is arguably the one that can easily and economically be prevented. Our immense gratitude for advancing legislation that is a step towards achieving this goal.