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Senate Approves CPR, Overdose Drug Bills

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the West Virginia Senate approved four bills Monday, including three related to the healthcare field.

SB 6- Relating to medical professional liability

The bill works to give healthcare administrators more protection when it comes to some hiring practices or staffing issues. The loophole has allowed administrators to face medical malpractice suits without the award cap put in place by the state’s Medical Professional Liability Act. Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump explained the definition changes in Senate Bill 6, in addition to some new sections, bring administrators back under the $250,000 cap.

The bill passed on a vote of 31-1 with two Senators absent.

SB 7- Requiring CPR and care for conscious choking instruction in public schools

The bill requires high school students complete at least 30 minutes of CPR training as a requirement for graduation. It calls on EMTS, firefighters and other volunteers to go into schools to teach techniques approved by either the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. 

The bill passed on a vote of 32-0 with two Senators absent.

SB 335- Creating Access to Opioid Antagonists Act

The bill would allow emergency professionals, like EMTs, firefighters and police officers to carry drugs that can combat and often reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, saving a person’s life. Opioids include hydrocodone, oxycodone and heroine. Health Committee Chair Ryan Ferns said even if an emergency responders gets the symptoms wrong, there is no risk to the patient.

The bill passed on a vote of 32-0 with two Senators absent.

SB 106- Excepting professional engineer member from sanitary board when project engineer is under contract

The bill removes the requirement that a sanitary board have a certified professional engineer serving them when the board is overseeing a construction project as long as the project itself is overseen by a certified professional engineer under contract.

The bill passed on a vote of 32-0 with two Senators absent.

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