Submitted by SCAFoundation on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 12:00am

HARRISBURG – Legislation marking Pennsylvania as the first state in the country to protect student athletes from sudden cardiac arrest is now on its way to the governor, as Rep. Mike Vereb’s (R-Montgomery) House Bill 1610 today passed through the General Assembly with minimal debate. 

“Sudden cardiac arrest syndrome is a force to be reckoned with and I’m glad my colleagues agree that my legislation is needed to raise more awareness about this potentially fatal disease,” said Vereb. “For instance, earlier this month, 26-year-old Alexander Dale Oen, a world champion swimmer who was one of Norway’s top medal hopes for the London Olympics, died during training camp because of sudden cardiac arrest.” 

House Bill 1610, once signed into law, will ensure that coaches and athletic directors are properly educated about sudden cardiac arrest and trained to watch out for the condition’s symptoms. Similarly, parents will receive information about the nature and warning signs of the disease. 

More specifically, coaches, parents and students will be required to take online training about the conditions requiring players to be removed from the playing fields if they show symptoms. If a student athlete would show symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, under this bill, he or she will be removed from play or practice until the athlete is evaluated and cleared by an appropriate medical professional. 

The free informational training for coaches and sports officials will be available online at the state Department of Health’s website. 

“Over the course of this bill’s journey, I have had to opportunity to meet remarkable individuals and their families from across the state whose lives have been affected by sudden cardiac arrest,” said Vereb. “House Bill 1610 aims to save the lives of students and set a leading example here in Pennsylvania, in hopes that other states will follow.”

Gov. Tom Corbett will sign the legislation on May 30 at Visitation B.V.M. school in Norrisville, PA at 11 am. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is among the nonprofit organizations supporting the measure.

For more information regarding House Bill 1610, including video clips and photos of Vereb’s recent press conferences and events on sudden cardiac arrest, visit his website at