School districts would have access to physician prescribed epinephrine autoinjectors, commonly known as epi-pens, in public and private schools under legislation proposed today by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah.
"More and more students are finding that they have severe allergies," said Mullet, sponsor of SB 5104. "This legislation would provide schools with a critical lifesaving medical tool in the event that a student had a severe allergic reaction or went into anaphylactic shock."
An epinephrine autoinjector is a medical device that delivers a pre-measured dose of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Epi-pens are used most frequently to treat an acute allergic reaction or to avoid or treat the onset of anaphylactic shock.
“This bill creates a framework under which school nurses could have an epi-pen prescribed to their school for their use,” said Mullet. “I have heard from many local school nurses who would love to have this life-saving option available to them. In some cases, the use of an epi-pen within minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death.”
Common symptoms of anaphylactic shock include an itchy rash, low blood pressure, and throat swelling, leading to respiratory distress and lack of oxygen. The most common causes of an allergic reaction include foods, medication, and insect bites or stings.