On July 30, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094). The bill encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, which is epinephrine that is not prescribed to a specific child, but can be used for any child or staff having an anaphylactic reaction.
In the United States, there are nearly 6 million children who have food allergies. When a child ingests food that he/she is allergic to, he/she can have anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction. This bill protects those children whose epinephrine is not immediately accessible during a reaction. For example, if the child has a peanut allergy and eats something containing peanuts in the lunch room, his epi-pen may not be immediately on him. It may be in his locker. If the school has one readily accessible in the lunch room, the child life may be saved.
In addition to protecting those whose epi-pens are not immediately accessible during an allergic reaction, the bill will also help save lives of those who have an anaphylactic reaction and do not have prescribed epinephrine auto-injector.
Though some states have guidelines allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors, this federal bill would provide incentives for all states to require schools to stock epinephrine.
Unfortunately, children and adults who have food allergies may sustain allergic reactions that are sometimes fatal because of another person’s negligence. For example, a person that has a peanut allergy may have a fatal allergic reaction after eating at a restaurant. The food may not have peanuts in it; however, if the oil used to cook the food was made with peanuts, the person may die as a result. There are legal options the victim and his family can pursue. To find out more, feel free to call the PA and NJ personal injury lawyers at White and Williams who offer a free no obligation consultation. 877.944.8396
Related peanut allergy/contamination articles: