Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
GDForum ID: 1955
Description of Proposed Guidance Document Changes
The purpose of the Virginia Board of Education Guidelines for Policies on Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention in Student-Athletes is to protect student-athletes by providing recommendations that support the development and implementation of effective sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) prevention policies in local school divisions through education, prompt recognition, and appropriate response. Sudden cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of heart function most frequently caused by an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system and is different from a heart attack which involves a blockage in a blood vessel to the heart. While rare, SCA is the leading medical cause of death in young athletes. Hence, raising awareness of warning signs and risk factors, putting a strong cardiac emergency action plan in place, and screening for heart conditions are key as SCA is often prevented when the underlying causes are diagnosed and treated. Pursuant to Senate Bill 463, (2020), the Code of Virginia was amended to include § 22.1-271.8 directing the Board of Education to develop, biennially update, and distribute to school divisions guidelines on policies to inform and educate coaches, student-athletes, and student-athletes' parents or guardians about the nature and risk of SCA, procedures for removal from and return to play, and the risks of not reporting symptoms. A student-athlete who is removed from play shall not return to play until he/she is evaluated by and receives written clearance to return to physical activity by an appropriate licensed health care provider as determined by the Board of Education. The licensed health care provider evaluating student-athletes may be a volunteer. The guidelines shall also be posted on the Department of Education’s website. The goals of Senate Bill 463 are to ensure that student-athletes who may be at increased risk of SCA are properly identified, promptly removed from activity, and not allowed to return to play until evaluated by an appropriate licensed health care provider familiar with evidence-based best practices for diagnosing and treating various forms of heart disease and individualizing care. Proper identification requires awareness of the warning signs of SCA which are often ignored or attributed to other causes. Early recognition and intervention are well-proven measures in the chain of survival for cardiac events. Any delays in taking appropriate action can be catastrophic. Training parents, students, and coaches to respond to an SCA emergency could help save a life.
Guidance Document(s) for this Comment Forum
Document ID Document Title Document in Effect Proposed Document
7258 Guidelines for Policies on Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention in Student Athletes n/a pdf Proposed Document Updated on 12/14/2022
Contact Information
Jim Chapman
Regulatory and Legal Coordinator
James Monroe Bldg., 25th Floor
101 N. 14th St.
The Virginia Register

Publication Date: 10/10/2022    Volume: 39  Issue: 4
The public comment period began upon publication and extended for 30 days. It ended on 11/9/2022.
View Comments      There are 1 comments. The last comment was entered on 11/9/2022

Effective Date:  11/10/2022 
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