Friday, November 18, 2011

Food Allergy News: Bill Would Permit Epinephrine to be Stocked in Schools

Pictured: Sen. Kirk with Brianna and Rhonda Adkins, and FAAN CEO Maria Acebal on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Nov. 15.
I want to ask you all for your help and advocacy as a new bill paves the way for a law that would permit Epinephrine to be stocked in schools.

I received the following notice from FAAN: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN™) has been working with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) on federal legislation that would encourage states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors – meaning epinephrine that is not prescribed specifically to a single student but can be used for any student and staff member in an anaphylactic emergency.

A few days ago, this bill (S. 1884), the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, was introduced in the Senate.

Earlier this week, FAAN CEO Maria L. Acebal, joined by Rhonda Adkins, wife of country music superstar and Celebrity Ambassador Who Cares Trace Adkins, and Adkins’s young daughter Brianna, visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge them to support this lifesaving legislation.

Now we need your help to get your senators’ support! Please download our sample letter of support, personalize it, and send it to their senators.

You can look up your local senators at

In addition to protecting those whose epinephrine auto-injector isn’t immediately accessible during a reaction, this legislation will help save the lives of those who experience an anaphylactic reaction and don’t have a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector. Data shows that up to 25% of all epinephrine administrations that occur in the school setting involve students and adult staffers whose allergy was unknown at the time of the event.

Jenny: I can speak to this. My daughter's allergy was discovered a preschool. She had one bite of a peanut butter sandwich and went into anaphylactic shock. That's how we found out she had an allergy. Unfortunately, this is a common way for parents to find out their child has a food allergy. Every second counts--even if an ambulance gets there quickly you've lossed precious time without epinephrine on hand.

Only a handful of states have laws related to stock epinephrine. S. 1884, however, will provide an incentive for states to enact their own laws allowing school personnel to keep and administer a non-student specific epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency. (The state laws would be similar to the ones enacted in Illinois and Georgia in 2011.)

Thank you for your help gathering support for S. 1884. We will keep you posted as FAAN continues to work to secure passage of this important legislation. Together, we can save the lives of those with potentially life-threatening food allergies.

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