Anaphylaxis is a severe and rapidly progressive fatal allergic reaction, leading to death due to multiple organ failure. This is a consequence of accidental ingestion of a food, such as peanuts; drugs such as ibuprofen or penicillin; and stings or bites by honeybees or fire ants.
Anaphylaxis kills the allergic person in minutes if the lifesaving medication epinephrine is not injected promptly. Epinephrine is available in self-injectable syringes, with pre-measured doses for adults and children and easily trained to use. Senate Bill 119 makes auto-injectable epinephrine available in public schools to treat anaphylaxis, to be administered only by the school nurse. The bill should be amended, allowing any trained person, such as the patients themselves, parents or teachers to administer auto-injectable epinephrine in emergencies, where every second is crucial. Not all schools have nurses.
Nurses have many responsibilities and need not always be present when the accident occurs. Lawmakers should amend and pass SB119 to avoid preventable deaths because of anaphylaxis.
Prem Menon, M.D