STATEHOUSE — A bill that would require schools to have AEDs at the ready during athletic practices and events is advancing in the State Senate.
The bill, championed by State Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Granger), is promoted as a bill that she said will save millions of lives of student-athletes around the state. The premise is based on previous legislation that failed to move ahead in last year’s General Assembly.
Testifying in favor of the bill were several figures who have a personal stake in seeing it become law, one of whom is Julie West, whose son died in 2013 due to sudden cardiac arrest during a football practice. He had a heart condition that went undetected.
Her issue with the current state of readiness for treating such ailments is that there are no set rules on the use of AEDs at schools.
“So many AEDs are placed, but with no guidance or direction on the proper location, known location, or who is responsible for maintaining them,” West told a State Senate committee.
She said that had any of these been followed, her son might still be alive today.
Tonya Aerts is a teacher at New Prairie High School in northern Indiana who has been taking the matter into her own hands. After a student at her school, Mark Mayfield, died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2017 she’s made it her job to have a plan in place to make sure those involved with athletics know how to use an AED and have one at the ready at all times.
“Bill 369 is the first step in creating a school environment that would have given Mark a chance to survive,” she told the committee. “Every Hoosiers student deserves to work and play in an environment that is always prepared.”
The bill is still in committee discussions and will be brought up for a second reading in the State Senate later this week.