Legislative Action

Thanks in part to advocacy by Mike and Joan Papale, in 2009 Connecticut passed a law requiring external defibrillators in schools. Effective July 2010, every school under the jurisdiction of the local and regional board of education in the state is required to have:

  1. An automated external defibrillator (AED)
  2. School personnel trained in the operation of AEDs and the use of CPR.

Read the full bill here

Many other states have laws related to AEDs. For more information, visit the National Conference of State Legislators.

There are also efforts to pass laws requiring that schools do cardiac screening on students who plan to participate in sports.

New Jersey:

A law passed in May 2015 requires that an annual physical examination of children under 19 include questions related to cardiac health. Read the full bill here.

New York:

A bill was introduced in 2013 requiring cardiac screening of student athletes and mandating that coaches receive training in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator has been passed by the state senate and assembly and is waiting to be delivered to the governor to be signed and enacted. Read and indicate your support for the bill here.


The House has tentatively approved a bill that would require students to get an electrocardiogram as part of the physical exam they must undergo in order to participate in athletics.


When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest among young athletes, basketball is by far the most dangerous sport. The NCAA has stopped short of recommending that all schools require their athletes to undergo an ECG, but it may include a recommendation in the new guidelines due out in 2016 that schools screen their athletes using a standard set of questions.


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