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For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2013
Media Contact:
Alessa Torres

305-820-8424

Commissioner Bovo urges the Florida legislature to require electrocardiograms for high school student athletes


MIAMI, FL – The County Commission today approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr. urging the Florida Legislature to require Florida high school student athletes to undergo an Electrocardiogram (EKG) as part of their pre-participation physical evaluation.

“This type of legislation will save student athletes’ lives,” Commissioner Bovo said.

The lack of electrocardiograms for Florida high school student athletes came to the public’s attention when the student athlete Ramiro “Toti” Mendez died on April 2, 2000 at the age of 20. Ramiro, a baseball player at Florida International University, lost his life after suffering a sudden heart attack caused by Viral Cardiomyopathy. His mother, Maruchi Mendez, has been a vocal advocate for legislation requiring electrocardiograms for student athletes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 2,000 young adults under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest each year in the United States.

Section 1006.20 of Florida Statutes currently requires the Florida High School Athletic Association (FSAA) to mandate that all student athletes satisfactorily pass a medical evaluation each year prior to participating in interscholastic athletic activity, but it doesn’t require an EKG.