Epinephrine is the "go-to" medication for severe allergic reactions. Within a few seconds of receiving an injection of epinephrine, the receiver most often will experience life saving relief. However, this respite is a short term fix and still requires a trip to the emergency room to access symptoms. Epinephrine is basically a shot of adrenaline to jolt the body until the receiver can be stabilized. Without this "jolt," an allergic sufferer can spiral downward rapidly making recovery much more difficult.
Epinephrine works to reverse the life-threatening symptoms. Other medications, such as antihistamines, are not adequate substitutes and will not save you or your child’s life, as they do not reverse swelling of the airway or raise low blood pressure. If you are uncertain whether or not a reaction warrants epinephrine, use it right away, because the benefits of epinephrine far outweigh the risk that a dose may not have been necessary. (ACAAI)
Allergists ask their patients with life threatening allergies to carry epinephrine with them at all times. These type of allergies are not limited to food. Bee stings are notorious for sending allergic sufferers to the emergency room with life threatening symptoms. Unfortunately, we often do not know ahead of time whether we or our children are severely allergic to a food or sting. Without this knowledge, we can get caught without access to epinephrine. Since children spend about seven hours of their day at school, it is likely that a reaction to an allergen could happen there. One that a parent may never even anticipated. Having a stock of epinephrine in the school's emergency medical kit with school personnel trained on how to use it could save your child's life. It is the piece of the puzzle that was missing for Amarria last year in Virginia.
"Amarria's law," inspired by a first grade Virginia girl whom died of an allergic reaction to a peanut at school was enacted in 2012 in Virginia. This law requires schools to carry epinephrine and administer it to any student believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction. If this law was in place prior to Amarria's reaction, her life might have been saved. Virginia is doing it's best to avoid another one of these school tragedies. Lisa Lyons is looking to protect Michigan children in the same way.
Lyons’legislation, House Bills 4352 and 4353, would place inexpensive epinephrine injectors in Michigan schools and train staff to use them.
The epidemic of life-threatening food allergies we are seeing in Michigan and across the nation makes Representative Lyons’ legislation more important than ever,” said Pediatric Allergist Pamela Georgeson, D.O., from the Michigan Osteopathic Association. “Placing inexpensive epinephrine auto injectors in Michigan schools and providing the simple training educators need to administer them may literally save a life.
If Michigan passes this bill, it will join Virginia, California, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York which already have epinephrine laws in place. There is a cost to enforcing this bill. However, as other states have done, there are many ways to fund it. Preventing the loss of a child is worth it!
Contact your MI representative to support this bill.
S-1190 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
Find your MI representative here
MI proposed epinephrine bill
Virginia epinephrine law
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