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Lifting Hurdles In School Med. Care

Gov. Signs Bills To Permit Emergency Treatment

Looking to block potentially life-threatening delays, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed two bills last Thursday, Oct. 30, allowing for greater access to emergency medical care in schools.

One new law (S. 7262- A/A.7791-A) permits all schools to obtain and, if necessary, use epi-pens, quick injection devices that deliver epinephrine to someone who goes into anaphylactic shock. The legislation clears the way for epipens to be used on anyone in need, regardless of whether they already have a prescription.

Only nurses or school officials specially trained to use epi-pens will be cleared to administer the medication, it was noted.

The other piece of legislation (A.9334-B/S.7758) allows students with asthma or other respiratory ailments, allergies and/or diabetes to carry and take necessary medications (such as inhalers or insulin) while in school or attending school functions. Students who bring medication must have written consent from their parents and their physician.

“These common-sense laws eliminate barriers that prevented students from having quick access to medication, even in the event of an emergency,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I thank the sponsors of this legislation, which will help save lives and prevent avoidable tragedies.”

“As a parent, I know that there is nothing more terrifying than the thought of your child having a medical emergency and not being able to get to them right away, and for parents of children with asthma, severe allergies or any other health condition, that fear can be amplified significantly,” added Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee. “This legislation will help alleviate some of that worry by allowing students with potentially lifethreatening conditions to have their medication with them while at school so that, in the event of an emergency, the student or a trained school staff member can act as quickly as possible.”

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