New House bill may allow stockpile of EpiPens - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

New House bill may allow stockpile of EpiPens

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Most students with severe allergies have a prescription from their doctor for an EpiPen that stays at school in case of an emergency.

House bill 296 would make it legal for schools to stock doses of EpiPens that could be administered to a student having a reaction, even if they don't have a prescription.

"Often times with this type of severe allergic reaction, you have maybe minutes at the most to respond to save their life," said Ann Cipriani from Toledo Public Schools.

Dr. Razi Rafeeq, an allergist in Toledo, knows firsthand how devastating a severe allergic reaction can be.  He says often times people may not know that they are allergic to certain foods or bug bites or stings until they have a reaction which could include itching, hives, or even an anaphylactic shock which could be fatal.

"We do not want to sit with a family in Ohio, in Northwest Ohio and tell the parent that we could not save your child at school because we did not have the appropriate medication," said Dr. Rafeeq.

The appropriate medication to stop the reaction is an injection of epiphnephran-- or an EpiPen.  As the policy stands statewide, EpiPens can only be in schools and administered to students who have a written prescription from their doctor, the pen is then kept with a nurse at school.  If passed, House bill 296 would make it so school districts could opt to have a stock of EpiPens that could be administered to a student, visitor, or staff member in the event of an emergency.

"The biggest benefit is that if you have this reaction and you do not have an EpiPen available, the school would have people there trained to use this and it is a life saving medication," said Cipriani.