Coaches would be required to remove student athletes from play if they showed any signs of cardiac arrest under legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday.
House Bill 1290 would require a health care provider to approve the player’s return to a game or practice. The bill also adds athletic trainers to the list of health care providers who can make that call.
The bill, authored by Rep. Ron Bacon, R-Chandler, establishes various protocols for the prevention of and response to cardiac arrest among school-aged student athletes, along with new changes to the role of athletic trainers within the state.
One of the bill’s provisions requires the Department of Education to provide information to coaches, student athletes, and parents and guardians of student athletes with information regarding the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. A form acknowledging the receipt of the educational information must be returned to the athlete’s coach prior to the start of the individual’s athletic season.
“I’m happy to see this bill called forward,” said Sen. Tim Skinner, D-Terre Haute. “It’s a very good bill.”
He said the bill might not be perfect but is “a good step in the right direction.”
Skinner, a former football coach for a school in Indiana, addressed the Senate on Tuesday and spoke about an experience he had in which a former player collapsed due to sudden cardiac arrest and was revived by athletic trainers on the spot.
The Senate sponsor for the bill, Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, discussed another provision of the bill, which requires CPR training and defibrillator training to be added to a high school’s health education curriculum.
A school administrator may waive the requirement for students with disabilities or for those physically unable to perform the task and the Department of Education may grant a school a waiver for the new education requirement.
The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 47-0 and moves back to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Jacob Rund is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.