Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Letter

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
November 14, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Public and Private School Principals.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) has emerged as a leading cause of death among people under age 25. According to the American Heart Association, SCA affects nearly 10,000 youth per year. Many children and parents are unaware they have a potentially fatal heart condition until it is too late. In fact, 72 percent of those who suffered SCA experienced prior symptoms but did not recognize them as life threatening. Many symptoms of a heart condition can offer preemptive warning signs.

Youth participating in sports are particularly susceptible, given SCA is the number one killer of student athletes. The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research cites that more athletes die from sudden cardiac arrest than from sports-related trauma. Educating coaches, parents and players about the potential warning signs of undetected heart conditions can dramatically reduce the amount of victims that SCA claims.

Furthermore, coaches, parents and players are oftentimes unprepared to act when SCA strikes. Recent data provided by the Eric Parades Save A Life Foundation states that 92 percent of SCA victims will die if not treated within minutes. Thus it is vital for those affected by SCA to be in the presence of people who know the cardiac chain of survival.

Education, Training, and Action save lives:

The Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act requires:

  • Any public, private, or charter school that elects to conduct athletic activities, must have the participating pupil’s parent or guardian, sign and return an acknowledgment of receipt for an information sheet on SCA each school year before the pupil participates in an athletic activity, as specified.
  • An athletic director, coach, athletic trainer or authorized person, as defined, to remove from participation a pupil who passes out or faints while participating in or immediately following an athletic activity, and would require a coach of an athletic activity to complete a SCA training course every other school year.
  • A pupil who is removed from play shall not be permitted to return to participate in an athletic activity until the pupil is evaluated and cleared to return to participate in writing by a physician and surgeon, or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
  • Penalties to be imposed on and after July 1, 2019, for a violation of the provision requiring a coach to complete a SCA training course.
  • A coach of an athletic activity shall complete the SCA training course and shall retake the training course every two years thereafter.  A coach of an athletic activity shall not be eligible to coach an athletic activity until the coach completes the training course required.

School districts and schools are encouraged to hold informational meetings before the start of each athletic season for all ages of competitors regarding the symptoms and warning signs of SCA and to post on their Internet Web sites the information that is required to be posted by the California Department of Education (CDE).

For more information regarding the AB 1639, including the SCA Prevention Act guidelines, videos, links to organizations that offer training materials, and the parent/student information sheet, please visit the CDE Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act Web page at

If you have any questions regarding the Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act, please contact Linda Wilkinson, Education Programs Consultant, in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Office [Note: The preceding office name is no longer valid and has been replaced with the Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office], by phone at 916-323-5748 or by e-mail at



Tom Torlakson

TT: lw

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Recently Posted in Professional Learning

  • Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act (added 12-Jun-2024)
    Information about AB 1639: Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act.
  • Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ Students (added 12-Jun-2024)
    Information on safe spaces for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.
  • Supporting LGBTQ+ Students (added 12-Jun-2024)
    Instructional guidance, law, and policies for local educational agencies to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQ+ students.
  • Alignment and Coherence: Sanger Unified (added 12-Jun-2024)
    See how Sanger Unified School District uses high quality alignment and coherence in its professional learning system.