Peyton’s Law requires:
• Information about the importance of electrocardiogram (EKG) testing and how it can help detect heart issues leading to SCA be included in the PIAA PPE (Preparticipation Physical Examination) form that student athletes and their parents/guardians have to review and sign, prior to participating in school athletics.
• Schools to include information in this PIAA form outlining the option to request an EKG from a family’s medical provider, at their expense, during a comprehensive physical examination.
• PA Department of Education (PDE) to develop and post information on their website about Sudden Cardiac Arrest – including warning signs/symptoms – and the importance of EKG testing for students.
KEY CHANGE IN LAW:
Prior to the law being signed in July 2020, students were required to sign the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs form that is already included in the PPE forms for Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). Peyton’s Law enhances this existing form to include information about the importance of EKG testing as part of the sports physicals and educates parents about the right to ask for an EKG (at their own expense).
Peyton’s Law does not require EKG testing. It educates about the importance of testing to help identify hidden heart issues that can lead to SCA, and encourages parents to request testing for their children. Coaches will still need to complete SCA training annually by a Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved provider.
Read the Bill
In 2013, Peyton Walker, a graduate of Trinity High School in Camp Hill, died of Sudden Cardiac Arrest at the age of 19. Because Peyton’s goal was to work in healthcare, The Peyton Walker Foundation was established. The Foundation advocates for the use of electrocardiogram (EKG) testing to screen for underlying electrical issues in the heart that can lead to SCA. The Foundation conducts free EKG screening events at schools across Pennsylvania and has screened several thousand students.
A recently published study that appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association states that the purpose of cardiovascular screening (electrocardiogram testing) is to “identify or raise suspicion of previously unrecognized and largely genetic or congenital cardiovascular diseases known to cause sudden cardiac arrest and sudden death in young people.” Most experts believe that early detection of potentially lethal disorders can decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
An EKG is a quick, painless and noninvasive test that measures and records a moment in time of the heart’s electrical activity. Small electrode patches are attached to the skin of your chest, arms and legs by a technician. An ECG/EKG provides information about the structure, function, rate & rhythm of the heart.