School nurses have greater freedom to react when students have allergic reactions. A new law comes after a Chicago teen died last year from a severe food reaction.
Say a student doesn’t know he has a severe allergy to bees … but gets stung during recess.
Before, a nurse needed to have had a doctor’s order to inject the student with epinephrine.
The new law permits a nurse to use an epi pen if she assesses it’ll help.
President of the Illinois Nurses Association Pamela Robbins says it’s important only trained medical personnel make that call.
ROBBINS “Just because someone might be having a fast heart rating or having problem breathing, that looks like they might be having an anaphylactic reaction. Unless you know that child’s history … to jump to the assumption they’re having an anaphylactic reaction and administer an epi-pen, which increases heart rate and blood pressure … could actually be detrimental to the child’s well being.”
There have been efforts allowing teachers to administer medicine, like giving insulin to a diabetic student, because not all schools have a full-time nurse.
This new law also allows schools to buy and store their own supplies of epi-pens that can be used if a student doesn’t have his own. And it helps protect districts and nurses from potential lawsuits. (Amanda Vinicky)