Ohio House Passes Legislation To Allow Schools To Stock Epinephrine
House Bill 296 will help treat anaphylaxis and save lives
November 21, 2013
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Reps. Johnson and Duffey discuss HB 296 at a Statehouse press conference.

State Representatives Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) and Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) have announced that the Ohio House yesterday passed House Bill 296, legislation that strives to better prepare schools to treat severe allergic reactions among students.

House Bill 296 permissively allows a school or school district to stock doses of epinephrine on the school premises. The legislation will allow but not require a school or district to adopt a protocol to maintain a stock of epinephrine and allow properly trained personnel to administer the epinephrine to a student, staff member or visitor who exhibits signs of anaphylaxis.

“This legislation is really for those people who have a child who, for the first time, is experiencing a bee sting, a food allergy, an antibiotic allergy, or whatever it is that they need to have this treatment for,” said Rep. Duffey. “We just don’t know what that first reaction or second reaction could be for a lot of people. This is permissive legislation that allows schools to do what is best for their students.”

“House Bill 296 is an important, life-saving piece of legislation, and there’s no better time than now to get this done,” said Rep. Johnson. “Saving a child’s life is our number-one priority in passing this legislation.”

House Bill 296 outlines the training to be provided, the interaction with medical and school nurse professionals, as well as the liability protection for the trained employees that administer the dose in a proper manner.

An amendment was adopted in the House Education Committee to add residential or day camps to the list of organizations that may elect to procure auto-injectors without a license for use in specified emergency situations.

Schools currently permit students to carry and self-administer an epinephrine auto-injector if obtained through a physician’s prescription. However, the prevalence of unknown allergies—particularly food-related allergies—is on the rise.

Recent tragedies have brought to light the need for schools to be able to respond to allergic reactions. Anaphylactic shock caused by unknown allergies recently claimed the lives of two young students in Virginia and Maryland. Both states have since passed laws similar to House Bill 296 in an effort to save lives.

House Bill 296 passed with unanimous support and will now move to the Ohio Senate.

To view the HB 296 press conference, please follow this link: http://www.OhioChannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=141311

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