Durbin, Kirk push school access to epinephrine injectors

November 14, 2011 2:41:25 PM PST
Illinois' U.S. senators will introduce a bill encouraging schools to stock EpiPens used when children have severe allergic reactions.

Nearly six million children have allergies which can cause everything from breathing problems to loss of consciousness and even death. And 18 percent of accidental food allergy episodes happen in schools. The solution is often epinephrine administered by the EpiPens.

The bill rewards states where schools stock the pens and which allow them to be used without fear of liability.

"If a school is prepared, if there's a person at the school prepared to administer it, it could literally save a child's life," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D).

"It's modest legislation, costs nothing in additional federal funding, and has a little law suit reform in it to make sure school staff isn't told don't administer this because we're worried about liability," said Sen. Mark Kirk (R).

States that go along would be given priority for already-existing asthma grants.

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