Schools and parents ideally would be more prepared to take on adverse cardiac events among youth if a federal bill introduced by a New Jersey congressman becomes law.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ 6th District, is out with a measure that's aimed at combating sudden cardiac arrest in young people, particularly student athletes.

The issue — typically the result of cardiomyopathy that has gone undiagnosed — takes the lives of about 2,000 people under the age of 25 each year, according to the CDC.

"It's critical that we raise awareness about the causes of sudden cardiac arrest and ensure schools are prepared to deal with cardiac emergencies so we can prevent these tragic deaths," Pallone said.

Pallone made his comments Monday morning during a press conference at Edison High School, which lost student and football star Kittim Sherrod to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 2009.

This is Pallone's second attempt at passing the HEARTS Act (Cardiomyopathy Health, Education, Awareness, Research and Training in Schools), which was also introduced in 2017.

Through the measure, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would join forces with the CDC and other expert groups to develop educational materials related to the deadly problem. Those resources would be distributed to schools and parents.

The bill also calls for guidelines regarding the placement of defibrillators in schools.

"By providing educational materials on cardiomyopathy to families and schools, this legislation has the potential to save the lives of many children at risk of sudden cardiac death," said Gina Peattie, executive director of the Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation.

According to the New Jersey Department of Education, sudden cardiac arrest is more common: in males than in females; in African-Americans than in other race and ethnic groups; and in football and basketball than in other sports.

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