Life-Saving Legislation Could Require Pennsylvania Schools to Have AEDs  

device key to damar's law
Image via Heather Khalifa at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Automated External Defibrillator, a key to the proposed Damar's Law.

“I’m sorry, you didn’t have an AED? I’m sorry, the coaches weren’t trained? They didn’t know what to do? That’s unacceptable,” said Downingtown’s Christy Marshall-Silva at a news conference in Chester County earlier this week.  

Marshall-Silva lost her seven-year-old son Aidan Joseph Silva in 2010, when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. The family didn’t have an automatic defibrillator that could have saved his life.  

Now Marshall-Silva is making it her mission to expand access to this life-saving equipment to schools across the state.  

The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania reports that more than 2,000 children die from sudden cardiac arrest a year in the nation. A huge portion of these deaths, about two-thirds occurs during a sports-related activity at school.  

Two newly introduced bills by the state Senate could change that. Senate Bills 512 and 513 requires schools and other facilities with school-related activities to have at least one Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and emergency response teams in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.  

It also requires coaches to be CPR-certified, writes Abraham Gutman for The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

State Sen. Katie Muth, who introduced the bills, mentioned pro football player Damar Hamlin as a reason to support this legislation. Muth said that when Hamlin collapsed on national television during a Buffalo Bills game, people all over the U.S. saw how emergency plans save lives.  

“It’s so critical that our children are surrounded by individuals who are prepared to act and to save a life,” Muth said. 

Read more about these bills in The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

Pennsylvania bill “Damar’s Law” could require AEDs at school sporting events.

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