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Please sign the Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine act!

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New York State assembly bill A07791A (same as senate bill S7262A): To authorize school nurses to possess and administer auto-injectable epinephrine without a prescription, in the event of an emergency and to authorize schools to provide and maintain epinephrine auto-injectors on school property.     

These bills have passed the assembly and senate with broad-based bipartisan support.  Governor, your decision sign this bill into law as soon as possible just might save the life of one of the 34,000 children in New York State public schools who have been identified as having life-threatening allergies at risk for anaphylaxis.  

Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe, potentially life threatening allergic reaction that can include closure of the airways, a precipitous drop in blood pressure, and shock. It is most commonly triggered by foods, insect stings or medications.   Death from anaphylaxis may occur if there is a delay in administering epinephrine after accidental exposure. The largest number of allergic reactions is among children and adolescents.   Food Allergies Research and Education, a nationwide supporter of similar bills, notes that one in every 13 children in the U.S. under the age of 18 has a food allergy.  Other studies show that 16-18% of food allergic reactions happen in school.

The most important aspect of managing life-threatening allergies is avoidance; but accidental food ingestion and insect stings can occur anytime, anywhere. In the event of contact with allergens, treatment should be immediately available in an anaphylaxis emergency situation. Epinephrine should be the first medication used in the emergency management of a child having a potential lie-threatening allergic reaction. Death from anaphylaxis can occur within a matter of minutes.  If there is any delay in administering epinephrine, then the risk of a fatality greatly increases.  

Among the many organizations local, state and national that support ‘nurse authorized stock epinephrine’ legislation is the New York State Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.  NYSSAAI emphasizes that there are no counter-indications to administering epinephrine. There are also no financial mandates for school districts rural or urban, large or small.  Furthermore, these bills provide liability protection to nurses if they administer the medication in an anaphylaxis emergency to an individual without a prescription.  The Center of Disease Control notes that the majority of the epinephrine administrations in schools were performed by the school nurse (92%).

According to the Anaphylaxis Community Experts project, a nation-wide NFP organization,  the current proposed legislation in New York, if signed by the Governor, would make New York the latest state to enact a law of this type.  Over 45 other states have already done so.  Now is the time to protect all children who are at risk for an anaphylactic reaction by permitting all schools to authorize school nurses to possess and administer auto-injectable epinephrine without a prescription, in the event of an emergency and to authorize schools to provide and maintain epinephrine auto-injectors on school property.  The Allergy Advocacy Association believes that once these bills become law that children with life-threatening allergies will be much better protected from an attack of anaphylaxis in all of NYS schools.

 

 



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