The bill requires a coach, game official, or school-certified athletic trainer or doctor to be vigilant for signs of sudden cardiac arrest among student athletes.
Signs include fainting, difficulty breathing, chest pains, dizziness, and a racing heart rate, the bill says. Under the bill, any students exhibiting such signs must be pulled from the game immediately.
"No more pour water over the kid's head and put the kid back in," Vereb said. "The coach must get the kid looked at, and see if they have these symptoms."
If the athletes are determined to be healthy, they can return to the playing field, but not without a written note from a doctor, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or cardiologist, according to the bill.
In addition, each coach associated with school sports and cheerleading must undergo annual training in the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest.
Typically, athletes collapse and die from undetected hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle that makes pumping blood difficult.
That condition claimed Akhir Frazier, a 16-year-old Prep Charter High School student and basketball star, on Aug. 21, 2010.
It is not just young adults who may be in danger, though.
Darren and Phyllis Sudman of Plymouth Meeting lost their 3-month-old son, Simon, to an undetected heart defect in 2005, only 96 days after he was born.
"I put him down for a nap, and he simply didn't wake up," Phyllis Sudman said in March.
As a way of dealing with their grief, the couple created a nonprofit, Simon's Fund, which offers heart screenings for children. The Sudmans pushed legislators in April to write the prevention legislation. Vereb agreed to act.
"We think it's extremely important on the quest to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrests. Things like fainting will be viewed as a symptom of cardiac arrest," Darren Sudman said.
Contact staff writer Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog, "MontCo Memo," at www.philly.com/montcomemo.