ALBANY, NEW YORK, February 27, 2024 – More than 356,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in the United States each year. Without the proper response from people nearby, 90% of these incidents of cardiac arrest will result in death.

It is estimated that about 23,000 children under the age of 18 experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. New York requires that every high school graduate learns Hands-Only CPR, ensuring that every year, more people are ready to take action when a cardiac arrest occurs in our communities.

Today, 50 American Heart Association advocates called on their legislators to further reduce the risk of death from a sudden cardiac arrest by passing (S4100/A7013), requiring a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) in all New York schools.

“It just makes sense. Having plans in place to quickly activate in the event of a cardiac event saves lives. When we have practiced CPR, know to call 911, and know where the nearest AED is located, more people will survive a cardiac arrest,” said Kaweeda G. Adams, chair of the board of directors of the American Heart Association in the Capital Region.

“My son Dominic was 17 and playing basketball when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest,” said Melinda Murray-Nyack of Queens, who helped pass the CPR in Schools Law, and whose foundation, The Dominic A. Murray 21 Memorial Foundation, focuses on raising awareness, heart screenings, CPR/AED training, and placement of AEDs. Dominic’s Law was enacted in New York in 2021 to promote safe interscholastic athletics participation and to prevent incidents of sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes. “Parents and community members are often at schools for plays, concerts, and athletic events, so schools having a regularly reviewed and practiced plan can have a tremendous impact.”

Lynda Marino survived a sudden cardiac arrest, and is the mother of two children. She is also a member of the 2024 Go Red for Women Survivor Calls, a group of ambassadors sharing their stories across the country.  

“I never expected to have a sudden cardiac arrest, and I would want anyone who does suffer one to have the same outcome I did,” Marino said. “My two children are genetically at risk for the same heart condition I have. It keeps me up at night worrying about them, knowing the possibilities, and seeing so many places that are not prepared.”

“On behalf of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition, I strongly urge the New York General Assembly to pass this life-saving legislation (S4100/A7013) that will ensure school communities across New York are better equipped and prepared to immediately respond to sudden cardiac emergencies at school-sponsored sporting events,” said Ken Edmonds, vice president, public policy and government affairs for the NFL. “Moving this bill across the goal line will be an important victory for young people and their families across the state.”

“Whether in the classroom or on the playing field, having a plan in place to enable faculty, staff, and students to respond to a cardiac emergency quickly makes a world of difference," said Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, sponsor of S4100. "I know firsthand how important it is to have access to an AED and know CPR. By ensuring that our schools are prepared, we can save lives."  

“Schools are a gathering place for community events, so schools having a regularly reviewed and practiced safety plan can have a tremendous impact on the wellbeing of children and other community members,” said state Assemblymember and bill sponsor Michelle Solages, D-Long Island. ”Specifically, having an available and accessible AED at school events will save lives, and that is why we must pass this bill.”

Need Action Now

The American Heart Association asks teachers, administrators, students, coaches, parents, and the medical community to contact their state legislators to let them know this policy is a top priority for our families and community and to make sure our schools can implement these proven lifesaving plans. Learn more and get involved or text LIFESAVERS to 46839.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. 

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