Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike at any time and at any age. A new bill supported by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak hopes to educate Oklahomans about this condition.
Doak is supporting Michael Morris, a father who lost his teenage son to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Morris hopes legislative proposals will help educate other parents and save lives. Michael’s son, Chase, died suddenly in 2013. His death came as a shock, because Chase was an active 16-year-old athlete with no family history of heart disease.
Commissioner Doak attended the “Play for Chase” Youth Heart Screening event yesterday. Student athletes received blood pressure checks, physicals and an EKG exam for low or no cost. These types of test are not normally part of routine check-ups for teenagers. More than 275 students were screened at this event and three had serious heart conditions.
“This is an issue that is close to my family. My daughter has had multiple heart surgeries, and my son is a student athlete,” Doak said. “We support this bill 100 percent. I commend the Morris family for all their hard work and dedication to this important cause.”
The Chase Morris Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act will be introduced as proposed legislation in Oklahoma this session.
“This is the first time in Oklahoma’s history that we’ve had doctors in both the House and the Senate,” said Rep. Doug Cox, M.D., who is sponsoring the legislation. “So what better way to introduce our first bill than by using what we do in our real lives to propose legislation that will save young athletes and prevent death.”
The bill includes:
* The development of educational materials on Sudden Cardiac Arrest for student athletes
* A requirement that all student athletes and their parents read the materials and sign a yearly waiver
* Guidelines for removing a student who show signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest during a sporting event and when they can return to athletics
* Yearly training course on Sudden Cardiac Arrest for coaches
* Penalties for coaches who violate the act
“Chase would be very proud. He was a loving son, and we’re taking the tragedy of our son’s death and trying to make a difference in the lives of other children,” said Morris.