Bill to Allow Schools to Administer Meds to Students Suffering from Allergic Reaction w/o Parental Consent/ Prescription in Case of Emergency Advances

epi medBipartisan legislation sponsored in part by Assembly Democrat Marlene Caride to amend current law to allow trained school officials to administer epinephrine to a student suffering from a life-threatening allergic reaction without parental consent or a prescription from a doctor in an emergency situation was advanced by an Assembly panel today.

Epinephrine is used in emergencies to treat very serious allergic reactions to insect stings/bites, foods, drugs, or other substances. Epinephrine acts quickly to improve breathing, stimulate the heart, raise a dropping blood pressure, reverse hives, and reduce swelling of the face, lips, and throat.

“Children spend a significant amount of time in school. It is vital that schools be able to help a child who is suffering from a bad allergic reaction,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This helps avoid a worse-case scenario where a child who could have been helped with a shot of epinephrine gets very sick or worse because there was no written consent from the parent or no epinephrine to begin with.”

Current law requires boards of education and nonpublic school administrators to develop policies concerning the emergency administration of epinephrine to a student provided that the student’s parent or guardian provides written authorization for administration of the epinephrine and written orders from a physician that the student requires epinephrine for anaphylaxis.

Caride’s bill (A-304) would amend the law concerning the emergency administration of epinephrine to require that school nurses and trained designees be permitted to administer epinephrine to any student, in addition to those with written parental authorization and written orders from a doctor, when the nurse or designee in good faith believes that the student is having an anaphylactic reaction.

“With food allergies among children on the rise, many schools are removing certain products from their menus to prevent endangering children who are allergic. But an allergy may not reveal itself until the child has an actual attack. Having epinephrine ready for administration in the case of an emergency is another way schools can protect these students,” said Caride.

Under the bill’s provisions, public and nonpublic schools would be required to maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors – that is prescribed under a standing protocol from a licensed physician – in a secure, but unlocked location that is easily accessible to the school nurse and trained designees for administration. The bill also amends the law providing immunity from liability to school employees and agents for good faith acts or omissions concerning the emergency administration of epinephrine to specifically include a physician providing a prescription under a standing protocol for school epinephrine. Lastly, the bill specifies that in the event that a licensed athletic trainer volunteers epinephrine, it would not be in violation of the “Athletic Training Licensure Act.”

The measure was released by the Assembly Education Committee. [TLS]

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  1. wow so now they can inject our children when ever they want. calling ems is no longer a option. this is government over stepping their bounds

  2. Two of my grand children have peanut allergies. They could have fatal results if exposed to them. This is well needed legislation. The number of children with severe allergies is increasing rapidly. EMS may not get there in time if child stops breathing due a reaction. Looking for parental permission forms may take too long. Kudo’s to the legislatures for protecting our children. In the know really doesn’t know that much.

  3. I am so relieved that this is being passed. With two severly allergic children in the school system, this is really important to me. The red tape necessary to get permission to save a child in anaphylactic shock makes no sense. Do they look for parental permission before administering the Heimlich manuveur to a choking victim? This is no different. In the know, you should never be tested to know what it feels like to send a child to school everyday, knowing that he or she will be exposed to so many potential life threatening situations. The fear never leaves you.

  4. @ in the know

    Are you out of your mind? “inject our children when ever they want” and “government over stepping their bounds”? This bill is allowing a trained person to administer a lifesaving medication when time is of the essence. There are few emergencies more time sensitive than anaphylaxis! And by the way, a monkey can administer an Epipen with minimal training and there are virtually no contraindications to epinephrine in anaphylaxis.

  5. they already do this , if your child has allergies you send a letter informing the faculty , this way your children can have the medicine they need. if I do not want my child injected by a stranger with min training to inject my child with eppi then that is my right as a parent! The US has had a average of 150 allergy related deaths a year over the last 10yrs. of that only 2 children in school have passed away which yes is a shame . in both of those cases they signed the packet and the children were injected with the eppi. so what are we really doing here ? you are taking away the rights and in some cases religious right of parents that may not want their children injected !!! you cannot give teachers nurses what have you the blanket right to inject a child with a needle with out parental permission. that is the way it should be. I have a 11 year old daughter in public school. and by no means do I want anyone other then a dr or paramedic injecting her with anything !!!!

  6. in the know – I think it says a school nurse, or trained person, who in good faith feels the child is having a severe allergic reaction.

    What if the school nurse sees the child having a severe life threatening reaction in front of their eyes – should they wait for the paramedic or to check the files or should they try to save the life?

  7. So send a letter to the school requesting that. For the rest of us, that have children with severe allergies… This is potentially a life saving bill. Thank you to all that helped pass it.

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