CLAIM: A Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Form is now being issued in Georgia high schools, suggesting a new phenomenon related to the COVID-19 vaccines.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. This form has been distributed to families of Georgia students since 2019. A spokesman for the High School Association, which released the document, noted that it is being distributed in accordance with state law.
THE FACTS: Social media posts are spreading the image of a awareness form being made available to Georgia families focused on sudden cardiac arrest — with some users incorrectly implying it’s related to COVID-19 vaccines.
“Parents are now required to sign a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Form. But remember the jab is safe enough to give to babies,” a tweet accompanying the image read.
Another tweet, shared by nearly 2,000 users, explained, “BREAKING – Georgia High School is now on Sudden Cardiac Awareness Form due to the recent increase in Sudden Cardiac Death.”
The document shown in the social media posts is titled Georgia High School Association Student/Parent Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Form.
But this form is not new and predates both the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines: a version of the same form Available online is dated May 2019.
Steve Figueroa, a spokesman for the Georgia High School Association, told The Associated Press that the form has been used since the 2019-2020 school year in response to a state law focused on preventing sudden cardiac arrest.
This law 2019 passed and requires schools, both public and private, to hold meetings on the symptoms and warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest and to provide parents and guardians with an “instruction sheet.”
“It was simply an attempt to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in high school athletes and to warn parents of the dangers,” Figueroa said in an email.
The form contains warning signs from sudden cardiac arresta sudden malfunction of the heart that is different from a heart attack.
For example, the document instructs parents to see a doctor if their child suddenly faints or develops chest pain or shortness of breath while exercising. It also directs readers to call for help and begin CPR if someone collapses, and encourages students and parents to sign the form.
Flawed Claims and misleading videos have promoted the unsubstantiated theory that the COVID-19 vaccines are behind a wave of young athletes suffering from such heart problems. have cardiologists said the AP Sudden cardiac death and cardiac arrest cases in athletes existed well before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have not seen the dramatic increase claimed on social media.
This is part of AP’s efforts to address widespread misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact checking at AP.