AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas House has preliminarily approved requiring high school athletes to undergo electrocardiogram testing for possible degenerative heart problems before participating in campus sports.
Representatives voted 86-57 Monday to make EKG testing mandatory as part of physicals taken to participate in all University Interscholastic League activities.
They did so while Scott Stephens – whose son Cody was a high school football player but died in 2012 of sudden cardiac arrest just before graduating – watched from the gallery.
The national nonprofit Children’s Heart Foundation says 3,600-plus Texas children born each year suffer a congenital heart defect. That predisposes them to sudden cardiac death.
The EKG tests will cost families about $15.
The bill faces a final, procedural House vote before going to the Senate.