Monday, April 21, 2014

STOCKING EPINEPHRINE IN SCHOOLS 2014

With all the recent news of students who have passed tragically away due to an anaphylactic reaction to their food allergy, it is more important than ever to make certain that our schools have access to epinephrine and the training to inject it.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America supports school policies that promote access to life-saving medications to treat students and staff who experience severe allergic reactions. Huge progress was made in  2013 when President Obama signed The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act into law.


The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act creates a preference for states that require schools to maintain a supply of the epinephrine to allow trained school personnel to administer it in an apparent emergency, and offer limited protection from civil liability to those who act. Thus, states that require schools to meet these requirements will have an advantage in obtaining federal asthma program funding.  States should implement policies that promote access, including: supplying schools with epinephrine auto-injectors to be used in emergencies, appropriately training school personnel, and addressing liability concerns for those who use this medication in good-faith.
Thus far there are 27 states which have passed laws which either require or authorize schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors.

If all schools have access to undesignated epinephrine auto injectors and staff trained to administer the medication, children will not die at school when a snack lands in the wrong hands or has unfortunately been contaminated through cross-contamination. As of September, 2014 only 8 proactive states have laws/guidelines which require stocking epinephrine while 34 states have laws/guidelines which allow schools to stock it.  Shockingly, there are 8 states which have nothing in place or have bills languishing in their state congress. 
If each of us, contact our legislators and senators, we can make an impact and help to prevent another unnecessary death due to ananphylaxis. Will you advocate for epinephrine stocking laws in your state? You can make a difference by emailing advocacy@aafa.org to get started. 

Or you can use this link to their template for a letter to your state legislators: http://www.aafa.org/pdfs/Advocate%20Letter%20Final.pdf
To read their statements of support:  www.aafa.org/epinephrine

Data source: http://www.foodallergy.org/advocacy/epinephrine/map