Thursday, October 10, 2013

An epi for every school

Today Ohio can celebrate the introduction of House Bill 296, which would permit a school or district to stock epinephrine auto-injectors that are not designated for a specific student.  Properly trained staff members, in addition to school nurses, could administer epinephrine to any student, staffer, or visitor that displays symptoms of an anaphylactic allergic reaction.

The bill outlines the training to be provided, the persons who can administer, as well as liability protection of the trained persons who administer the medicine.

This is a huge step in the right direction for Ohio- one step closer to having greater protection in place for allergic reactions in the school setting.

This is particularly important because up to 20% of first time allergic reactions take place at school.  That's a significant number!  Many states have introduced, or passed, similar laws.  Currently Chicago is the only one keeping recorded statistics (that I am aware of), and they report using 25 stock epinephrine auto injectors during the last school year!

Currently, epinephrine auto-injectors are only available for children who have known allergies, provide the proper paperwork from their physician authorizing it's use and detailing the correct usage for the auto injector, and who supply their own device from home.  Children who have not yet been identified as having allergies are not covered, and using another child's epinephrine to treat their reaction is a punishable offense.

I will certainly be supporting this legislation, and hope to see it pass quickly into law for Ohio!

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