Local News

Dec 27, 2013 6:47 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

New EpiPen Law

CORPUS CHRISTI - Come January, schools could be better equipped to handle certain medical emergencies. A new bill requires all public schools to have epinephrine on hand for students who suffer a severe allergic reaction. That new bill is called the School Access To Emergency Epinephrine Act.

Child allergies are on the rise. According to the federal government, about 9.5% of American children suffer from asthma and between 4-6% of children have food allergies. Either of those could strike in an instant, and like Cameron Espinosa it could prove fatal. He was the boy who was stung by ant at Haas Middle School.

"Any time there is an incident such as this especially when someone loses their lives we try to look back and see what could have been done differently and what things can be done moving forward to help prevent situations like that from occurring again," said State Representative Abel Herrero.

So, State Representative Herrero says that's exactly what the federal government did. Now states can get funding to have EpiPens in schools. But states will have to follow three major requirements to get the funding.

All elementary and secondary schools in the state must have a trained administrator at the school who can administer the EpiPen. Schools must keep the EpiPens in a secure location. They must develop a plan to ensure someone is always able to administer the drug during all hours of the school day. State Representative Herrero thinks this is a move in the right direction.

"I think anything that can be done in a way to help prevent, you know the death of children especially in schools from asthmatic attacks or allergic reactions that are fatal would be helpful," said State Representative Herrero.

As we've reported giving a child a dose of epinephrine can be dangerous if they don't have a prescription for it. So because of that, the new law also protects the person who administers the drug in an emergency situation. Meaning they can't be sued if something goes wrong.

We have contacted the Governor's Office to see how the State of Texas will go about this new law. We have yet to hear back from them.


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