Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Legislative News

April 9, 2008

Senate approves Paddack’s school defibrillator bill

The Oklahoma State Senate unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday by Sen. Susan Paddack, a Democrat from Ada, urging federal funding or private donations for automated external defibrillators (AED) devices that could save a student’s life in a medical emergency.

Paddack said Senate Bill 923, which is also know as the Zachary Eckles and Luke Davis Automated External Defibrillators in Schools Act, encourages school districts to make automated external defibrillators available at each school.

“A matter of seconds is critical during a cardiac emergency. This bill pushes for more of these life-saving machines to be placed in our schools,” said Paddack.

“As policymakers, we have responsibility to help protect the health and safety of Oklahoma’s children. These machines can save lives when a young person is in cardiac distress.”

An irregular heart beat is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death among otherwise healthy young people during physical activities and athletic competitions. Defibrillators are easy to use and training for the machine is now part of basic CPR training.

Twelve-year-old Luke Davis, who collapsed and died when his heart stopped during a school basketball game in Dickson, and 17-year-old Zachary Eckles, who died after heart failure during a soccer practice in Edmond, are just two examples of how defibrillators, if accessible, could have helped save an Oklahoman.

Paddack said private donors have shown a willingness to donate these machines, and this legislation urges more businesses to step forward and provide this service to their community.

The bill passed the Senate with a 48-0 vote and will now move to Gov. Brad Henry’s office for approval.

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