Law would require schools to stock EpiPens

State, federal politcians support measure to make schools safe for kids with allergies
Tom Jackson
Dec 6, 2013

State and federal lawmakers are trying to make schools safer for kids who have allergies that threaten their lives.

Congress has approved a measure to provide federal money to supply schools with epinephrine injectors, or EpiPens, to aid kids who have severe reactions to a food allergy, a medicine allergy or an insect sting.

The measure, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, provides federal grants to states that make sure schools are supplied with EpiPens and have trained school personnel to use them. States must also ensure civil liability laws shield the legitimate use of the devices in emergencies.

Ohio lawmakers have been considering House Bill 296, which allows schools to stock epinephrine injectors for use in emergency situations. The measure, by state Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, has passed the House but hasn’t been approved by the Senate yet. Johnson did not respond to requests for an interview.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, a co-sponsor of the federal measure, said he hopes Ohio lawmakers will enact House Bill 296 and make sure all Ohio schools have epinephrine on hand.

“We must do everything we can to ensure that our children are safe and can receive the treatment they need if they suffer a life-threatening, allergic reaction at school,” Brown said. “This new federal law gives priority funding to states that take the important steps necessary to ensure epinephrine is available for students in case of an emergency.”

Brown’s office said food allergies cause 150 to 200 deaths a year and account for more than 300,000 emergency room visits each year.

Janet Mesenburg, director of nursing for the Erie County Health Department, supervises the school nurses the department provides to many school districts in Erie County.
Mesenburg said under current state law, students are allowed to have epinephrine injectors if they bring a doctor’s order to school.

Expanding the availability of epinephrine would protect both students and adults who work at the school, she said.

“It could be a staff member who could have a reaction,” she said.

If Ohio law is changed, the health department will help schools obtain and use epinephrine injectors, she said.

“We absolutely would expand to meet that need,” she said.
 

Comments

Stop It

At first glance I saw something entirely different with that headline.

My... how just one letter switched around can take a whole word and trash it. My mind must be in the gutter tonite. lol

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Induction into the Pen-15 Club with that classy membership stamp drawn on the hand I am sure is still alive and well to sundry peoples' amusement and displeasure.

2cents

Field day for lawyers!
Kids can't have even an aspirin in school but it is ok for big brother to have them injected! Oh, but having a merry-go-round on a play ground is lethal. My god how stupid we have become!

Stop It

Ain't that the crap? My brother went to the hospital last month for a problem he was dealing with and asked for an aspirin for his headache. The nurse had already given him percocet for his ailment but that stuff doesn't help a headache.Nurse said no. I went out to the closest convenience store and bought him some...

I have never known Tylenol as a cure for headaches...Gimme some Excedrin.

SMF1

Giving an aspirin for something non-life threatening is different than giving an epinephrine injection for a possible life-threatening allergic reaction. This is tant amount to a teacher wrapping a profusely bleeding arm or leg in a tourniquet...without it, the child could (and probably would) die. This is for use in dire circumstances, they are not willy-nilly running around injecting kids with epipens.

Dr. Information

Epi pens should be available at every business. They are cheap and life saving.

Kelly

They are NOT cheap even with insurance.

mikesee

If a child should have the possibility of needing one then their doctor should prescribe one for the school to keep on hand. The individual could have a fatal reaction to it.

Informed

Anyone can go into anaphylactic (sp?) shock, even people with no history of allergies. Severe allergic reactions can happen out of the blue. If an individual is having this type of reaction, chances are they will die without an EpiPen injection.

mikesee

And then even though the school acted in the best interest of the child and something goes wrong...hello lawsuits!

2cents

So who is making the diagnosis? A teacher trained to teach? The are all worried about playground equipment being a litigation concern but are all ok to inject people without the skill of a trained physician? What (mikesee) says is good for those with known allergies, otherwise call 911 and fast. We do not need the schools getting sued over this now too!

Informed

EpiPens are usually self-injected. They don't require a physician to do so. Usually it would be the school nurse or other first-aid trained person, or someone following the directive when calling 911.
If they wait until the ambulance gets there the person will be dead by then,

2cents

Hey! I am not arguing against this, I am stating that overly liberal minded people have taken tort law to levels that we may never recover from. Show me some change in the laws, give people a little more responsibility for their own actions and make harmless the people that would administer these shots. I just do not want to open a can of worms for more lawyer commercials!

deertracker

Do you people ever get tired of being jerks?

The Bizness

Apparently not.

I don't think these readers are aware of what epi-pens are.

They would would probably argue that pools shouldn't have to have life saving equipment too.

JudgeMeNot

Are you aware what an epipen is?

The Bizness
JudgeMeNot

First ask yourself the question.

mikesee

A prescription is required for purchase. Seemed to me there was just a coach at Perkins that was let go for giving out those med strips.

danbury dad

I would think that if the schools nurse is a Nurse Practitioner ( I think that is the right title) They would be able to write a prescription on the spot and only they would administer the shot. Win win situation I would think

ladydye_5

Not all schools have a school nurse. Many times our nurse is NOT in the building, she is at the elementary school. The original story on these pens are not to be prescribed, then injected. They are to just be given as needed. The staff would be taught during a training seminar. They are NOT that difficult to use. I do question the "sue happy America". No matter if you have them or not. Use them or not, some where in America someone will end up suing a school district, teacher and Epi-pen because it was used/not used and a child died. There is ALWAYS one in the bunch. It is a damned if you do/ damned if you don't society. If it would save ONE child that is all that matters.

Dr. Information

There are no absolute contraindications to using EpiPen Auto-Injectors for anaphylaxis. People with certain medical conditions have a higher chance of having serious side effects from the EpiPen Auto-Injector. The EpiPen Auto-Injector should be used with caution if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions or diabetes, or if you are pregnant or take medicines that can cause heart-related symptoms. These conditions should be discussed with your health care professional.

Yup. A lot if kids fit the above description. Sarcasm.