Access to epinephrine injectors would protect millions of children with allergies
WASHINGTON, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—May 17, 2012. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) were honored on Wednesday evening at the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) 20th anniversary dinner for their work in sponsoring the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. The event was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the organization and to honor leaders in the field.
“We are so grateful to Senator Kirk and Senator Durbin for their early leadership on this critical legislation,” said Maria L. Acebal, CEO of FAAN. “They are leading the charge to ensure that no other student should die of an anaphylactic reaction at school.”
In November 2011, Senators Kirk and Durbin introduced the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act to address the concerns of food allergy related issues in elementary and secondary schools. The bill encourages states to require public schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine injectors, such as the EpiPen, and permits authorized school personnel to administer an epinephrine injector in the event a student has an anaphylactic reaction. The legislation has broad support from 25 additional cosponsors in the U.S. Senate.
“This bipartisan legislation will encourage schools across the United States to prevent allergy-related fatalities,” said a spokesperson for Senator Kirk. “Millions of children are at risk from severe, life-threatening allergies. When these children are exposed to a severe allergen, swift and safe administration of epinephrine is often life-saving. This legislation will prevent senseless tragedies and ensure safety while children are at school.”
“A child dying from a severe allergic reaction is a tragedy, but one that is preventable,” said Senator Durbin. “Considering that children spend nearly 30% of their time at school, schools can and should play a role in responding to students who have severe allergic reactions. Unfortunately most of our schools are not prepared for the likely event that a student has a severe allergic reaction. We must do more. I will continue working with Senator Kirk to pass legislation that will encourage states to require schools to maintain a supply of life-saving epinephrine and train staff on how to use it. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network has been an important partner in this common-sense, bipartisan effort.”
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network is the leading organization for information, resources and programs on food allergies. FAAN helps to spread public awareness about the consequences of food allergy through educational programs on the condition to schools, families, patients, companies, government and health professionals. Food allergy, which is a potentially life-threatening medical condition, affects up to 15 million citizens, including 6 million children. More than 15% of school-aged children have a food allergy reaction in school and young adults with food allergies have the highest risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic shock is a systemic allergic reaction that is potentially lethal if not treated immediately.