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Indiana Senate passes SB 369; AED bill inspired by local tragedies

By Matt Gotsch

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) – The Indiana State Senate was in session today and unanimously voted for Senate Bill 369.

The bill would require automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and cardiac emergency plans at all athletic events in the Hoosier State.

State Senators call this bill “a lifesaver” because it’s not if sudden cardiac arrest will happen, but when.

A National Library of Medicine study estimates that 20,000 U.S. children experience sudden cardiac arrest.

SB 369 states that every K-12 school properly maintains an AED and that it is present at each athletic activity.

The bill would also require schools to develop an emergency plan for sudden cardiac arrests, and that plan to be appropriately posted throughout schools and athletic spaces.

In attendance at Thursday’s vote was Julie West, the mother of Jake West, a LaPorte High School football player who experienced cardiac arrest at practice and passed away on Sept. 26, 2013.

“During a play, Jake collapsed, and despite doing everything they could possibly do, Jake was never able to be revived,” says State Senator Linda Rogers (R-Granger). “When he collapsed, an AED wasn’t on the field or close by; it was in the coach’s office. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, minutes count.”

Sadly, Jake’s story is not isolated, as New Prairie’s Mark Mayfield and John Glenn’s Zac Mago also lost their lives after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

In 2017, New Prairie High School senior Mark Mayfield died after experiencing cardiac arrest after playing basketball.

“Mark Mayfield had just played an intermural basketball game,” Sen. Rogers noted. He walked off the court to get a drink and collapsed in New Prairie High School. Despite CPR being performed immediately, Mark was unable to be revived, and an AED was not available, which may have saved his life. After Mark’s death, when they went to look for the AED, they found it in the concession stand under popcorn with dead batteries.”

One of the other inspirations behind the bill was John Glenn High School standout basketball player Zac Mago, who passed away on Jul. 5, 2018, just before his senior season began.

“Zac Mago, a 6′5, 200 lbs. athlete, didn’t feel well one morning and went home and went to bed, only to be found by his sister not breathing,” Sen. Rogers explained. “Despite his sister performing CPR, Zac was gone. What do Jake, Mark, and Zac all have in common? They died of sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in high school athletes.”

Authors of Senate Bill 369 include Sen. Linda Rogers, Sen. Stacey Donato, and Sen. Greg Walker.

Sen. Breaux was absent from Thursday’s vote with an excuse.

SB 369 now moves on to the Indiana House for further debate.

House sponsors include:

State Rep. Dale DeVon (R) District 5

State Rep. Joanna King (R) District 49

State Rep. Carolyn B. Jackson (D) District 1

State Rep. Jim Pressel (R) District 20

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Indiana Senate passes SB 369; AED bill inspired by local tragedies (

Indiana Senate passes SB 369; AED bill inspired by local tragedies
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