Schools urged to stock epinephrine
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – In an effort to protect millions of school children from allergic reactions from severe food allergies, President Obama has signed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. Epinephrine is a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of a severe allergic reactions to food and other allergens, but only if it’s injected into patients within the first few minutes. This new measure offers incentives to schools who keep epinephrine on hand and train their staffs how to use the injectors.
“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have something ready and waiting in our schools that could save a child’s life,” said Sarah Denny, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As a physician in the emergency department Denny has treated many children for serious food allergies, and nearly lost her own son several years ago to a sudden and surprising reaction to soy.
“If we had not given him an epinephrine injection immediately, we would have lost him,” she said.
Since then, Denny has lobbied to get epinephrine injectors into schools to protect children from unexpected reactions. Since 1997, food allergies in children have shot up 50 percent, and one in four children experience their first allergic reaction to food while at school.