West Virginia lawmakers introduce AED law in honor of high school player

By  | 

(WDTV/WSAZ) — A bill has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates in honor of a high school football player who died after collapsing on field.

Filed on Thursday, House Bill 4497 would require automated external defibrillator's (AED) to be at any secondary school sporting event.

The bill was introduced in honor of Alex Miller, a senior at Roane County High School who died in September when he collapsed on the field during a football game.

The bill says "The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall require that an automated external defibrillator device be present during the duration of all extramural high school or middle school athletic events under the control, supervision and regulation of the commission."

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute defines AEDs as a device that restores a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart.

The bill also says that all school sports personnel should be trained on how to use an AED.

In August 2018, WSAZ aired an investigation that revealed the lack of regulations that require AEDs be around after 8-year-old Caleb Ray died while playing soccer in Lincoln County.

Sudden cardiac arrest kills 2,000 children a year and two-thirds happen on the ball field.

Kentucky is the only state in our region that requires AEDs to be nearby for sports practices and games. The law passed in 2009 after the families of teenagers who died playing football pushed for legislation.

In 2017, Lindsay's Law went into effect in Ohio, which requires coaches, parents, and players to to be educated on sudden cardiac arrest.

HB 4497 is making its way through committee before it is voted on in the House.