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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 2, 2019 01:37 PM
From: Representative Robert Freeman
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Epinephrine Administration
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to protect children living with food allergies by requiring schools to maintain a stock and utilize epinephrine auto injectors (“EpiPen”) in the event of life-threatening allergic reactions.

The number of children with reported food allergies has increased dramatically over the past two decades, with many unaware that they have a food allergy. Allergic reactions include hives, a runny nose or abdominal pain, while others may develop anaphylaxis, a severe and sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can change from mild to fatal, quickly; therefore, prompt administration (within minutes of anaphylaxis symptoms) of epinephrine, typically an EpiPen, is crucial to successfully treating anaphylactic reactions.

My legislation would require Pennsylvania schools to maintain a supply of EpiPens in a safe and secure setting, and permits authorized personnel to administer the EpiPen to any student experiencing anaphylaxis. Under this legislation, schools would obtain a physician’s prescription for a supply of EpiPens to be used in the event of life-threatening allergic reactions.

Studies show that 16%–18% of children with food allergies have had allergic reactions due to accidental ingestion of food allergens while in school, and up to 25% of anaphylaxis reactions in schools occur among students without a previous food allergy diagnosis. EpiPens deliver medicine quickly and effectively, keeping airways open until emergency personnel arrive. By requiring schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine, my legislation can save the life of a child experiencing anaphylaxis.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Brianna Medevich in my office by e-mail at bmedevic@pahouse.net or by telephone at 717-783-3815.