Maryland Latest State To Require Schools to Stock Epinephrine

Maryland has just become the latest state to require public schools to keep a stock of epinephrine, reports the Maryland Coast Dispatch. Last week, Governor Martin O'Malley signed the new law, which requires schools to keep an emergency supply of epinephrine auto-injectors (such as Epi-Pens) on hand to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, buying crucial time to get students to the hospital.

In the past, schools in Maryland could only administer the potentially life-saving medication to students who had a prescription for epinephrine, typically after being diagnosed with a severe allergy. However, an estimated 25% of allergic reactions occurring at school happen to students who have not previously been diagnosed with an allergy. As such, they do not carry their own Epi-Pen to stop the reaction.

The new law was prompted by an incident last year that happened to a Maryland student named Lilliana Franklin. Lilliana, an eighth-grader, has a known allergy to nuts and peanuts, and accidentally ate peanut butter at school. Immediately feeling symptoms of an allergic reaction, she rushed to the school nurse's office, where she kept two EpiPens and a stock of Benadryl, provided by her parents for just such a situation.

However, the substitute nurse who was working that day “Really didn’t take it seriously, she took her time and flipped through the folder...” explained Lilliana's mother, Marianne. Lilliana's friend ended up using the Epi-Pen, but it did not deliver enough of the medication because she wasn't trained to use it correctly. Marianne took her own daughter to the hospital, where she received emergency treatment.

Following the incident, Lilliana's parents Michael and Marianne discussed the situation with the school's nurse and principal to find out how that type of incident could be prevented in the future. As news of the incident spread, other parents of children with allergies became concerned. Michael explained “That [bill] came about by other parents with children with known allergies finding out what happened to Lilly and becoming fearful of what could happen to their kid and thinking what if they are not as fortunate.”

By next school year, all public schools in the state will be required to keep EpiPens on hand which can be used on any student experiencing an allergic reaction. They will also be required to train staff members on what to do in case of an allergic reaction.

More Articles

For people who suffer from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result from an allergy to...

Anaphylactic shock (A-nuh-fih-LAK-tik shok): A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been...

In 1963 the American Medical Association designed a special symbol that would alert emergency medical personnel of special medical conditions when...

Finding allergy-free foods for an office potluck may seem impossible, but more options are available than you might think. Eating foods prepared...

One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is determine whether his or her toddler has a cold or a...

More Articles

More Articles

You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...

If you avoid peanuts, it’s likely you know the joy of cashews. Slightly sweet and smooth in texture, cashews provide not only relief to those with...

The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the past two to three decades, and not just among children. Preliminary results...

When someone in the family is diagnosed with a food allergy, a choice must be made whether to ban the problem food or foods from the home. The...

Looking for a fun way to share what you know about your own food allergies? Or are you hoping to educate the people around you in a fun way about...

According to the results of a new study, children lacking Vitamin D may be more susceptible to food allergies. Researchers working at the Albert...

If you or your child has a peanut or nut allergy, identifying the presence of nuts in food becomes a priority, but what if the written or spoken...

Soap allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and itching. If you suddenly develop a rash or bumps on your skin, you may suspect that you have an...