Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act

Schools are required by New York State to ensure that student-athletes and families are provided with information about sudden cardiac arrest.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt and unexpected loss of heart function. It can be fatal if not treated within minutes with the use of CPR and/or an automatic external defibrillator.

While occurrences are rare, there are steps that families and school personnel can take to identify students who may be at risk. The Interval Health History Form, available on FamilyID, now has questions to help identify those at risk. This form must be completed prior to each sports season.

The Health Department has provided the following information to help families.

Signs or Symptoms
  • Fainting or seizure, especially during or right after exercise
  • Racing heart, palpitations, or irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or extreme fatigue with exercise
  • Chest pain or discomfort with exercise
  • Excessive shortness of breath during exercise
  • Excessive, unexpected fatigue during or after exercise
Student’s Personal Risk Factors
  • Use of diet pills, performance-enhancing supplements, energy drinks, or drugs such as cocaine, inhalants, or “recreational” drugs.
  • Elevated blood pressure or cholesterol
  • History of health care provider ordered test(s) for heart related issues
Student’s Family History Risk Factors
  • Family history of known heart abnormalities or sudden death before 50 years of age
  • Family members with unexplained fainting, seizures, drowning, near drowning or car accidents before 50 years of age
  • Structural heart abnormality, repaired or unrepaired
  • Any relative diagnosed with the following conditions:
    • Enlarged Heart/ Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy/Dilated Cardiomyopathy
    • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
    • Heart rhythm problems, long or short QT interval
    • Brugada Syndrome
    • Catecholaminergic Ventricular Tachycardia
    • Marfan Syndrome- aortic rupture
    • Heart attack at 50 years or younger
    • Pacemaker or implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD)

Any student with such signs or symptoms, family history or personal risk factors should be evaluated by a healthcare provider before participating in athletics.

For more information, please speak with the Athletic Director or School Nurse. Thank you.