Auto Injector

Posted by KevvyG on Thursday, August 01, 2013
Sorry for the delay folks. I spent the last week or so in the Big Apple visiting some of the sights. Despite having spent over a month there off and on in the past, the last time I was there was right before 9/11. Aside from all the attractions that Gotham has to offer, if you have the opportunity, visit the site and memorial at Ground Zero. I've no personal connection with anyone involved, but it was still a powerful reminder of that event.

H.R. 2094 - Epinephrine in SchoolsBack into the swing of things - Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2094 (School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act), a bill that would incentivize states to come up with policies to stock and administer drugs used to treat anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is the most extreme reaction that can occur from a severe allergic attack and within minutes, can be fatal. Most commonly, people associate anaphylaxis with food allergies, but this type of shock can be the result of other allergens as well.

On the state level, recent years have shown a willingness to integrate this type of program into public schools, but this is the first significant piece of legislation that would tie federal grant money to developing programs to deal with anaphylaxis. The proposed bill would not only give the green light for all schools to be able to stock epinephrine, the life saving drug used in auto-injectors (EpiPens), but also permit trained administrators to administer the drug in emergency situations. Lastly, it would make it so that in the event of an emergency, trained school officials administering epinephrine would be legally protected by state liability laws.

From peanuts to bee stings, epinephrine has been effective drug in controlling anaphylaxis which can lead to severe swelling, the inability to breathe, and in the most severe instances, death. Allergies effect millions of school age children, and many food allergies can first crop up while at school. This bill hopes to provide the umbrella under which all schools can develop a plan of action and provide the emergency resources necessary under what can often be a life or death circumstance.

With bipartisan support, the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

To read the full version of H.R. 2094.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, April 23, 2012
Auto Injectors in SchoolFor parents of children with food allergies, having and auto-injector on hand is almost second nature. With severe food allergies the risk of anaphylactic shock after exposure to the offending food allergen makes having and EpiPen nearby and easily accessible a necessity. Schools are generally responsive to the needs of children with food allergies, but laws governing the handling of EpiPens and food allergies are different from state to state. On Thursday, VA Governor Bob McDonnell is set to sign a bill that would require Virginia school to carry auto-injectors and train staff on their use.

Shortly after the death of a 7-year-old in VA in January, legislation was put forth that would require schools to stock auto injectors and train staffers on their use. Similar laws have been passed in Illinois and Georgia.

In November, Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk introduced legislation that would provide incentives for schools across the nation to provide access to and stock auto-injectors in schools. While most states allows students to self-administer epinephrine, nearly twenty-five of all anaphylaxis cases in schools involve students with no prior history of food allergies. Laws like this and those passed at the state level aim to remedy that.

Auto-injectors administer a measured dose of epinephrine, an effective countermeasure to anaphylactic shock. Most often auto injectors are associated with those who have severe food allergies, but they are effective for anyone suffering from a severe allergy that can cause anaphylaxis.

While it often takes a tragedy before meaningful and lasting action is taken, this does not have to be the case. On a personal level, take control of potential life-threatening allergies and keep you local school informed. On a larger level, working with food and other allergy networks and advocacy groups (like those listed in our Allergy Resource section on this page) can not only spread awareness but ultimately influence legislation and enact minor but critical changes.

Posted by Craig on Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Sun, A Source of Vitamin DA study published in the July 2007 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests strong variation in the occurence of anaphlyaxis between northern and southern U.S. states, reports the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Southern states have the fewest number of auto injector prescriptions per 100 people, while New England states have the most. The highest number of auto injector prescriptions per 1000 people is in Massachusetts, and the lowest number is in Hawaii.

Some investigators hypothesize that since southern states have more year-round sunlight (which produces Vitamin D in the skin), the southern states may have a lower incidence of allergic disease because people there have higher Vitamin D levels.

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