Bill requiring EpiPens in schools passes another hurdle - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Bill requiring EpiPens in schools passes another hurdle

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An Indiana Senate bill requiring schools to stock EpiPens has passed another hurdle this week. 

The bill which was introduced by local Senator Vaneta Becker has been voted on and approved by both the Senate and the House.   

One study finds that 25 percent of children have their first reaction to peanut or tree nuts in a school setting. For that reason, the EVSC already keeps the drug epinephrine on hand.

EVSC officials tell 14 News that about eight percent of students have a known peanut allergy, and those students have health plans that enable them to either carry their own EpiPen or have it available in the school.

The bill is really geared toward students who may not know of their allergy.

Director of Health Services Diana Butler says the district has glass viles of epinephrine in all 38 schools. If a student goes into anaphylactic shock, they use a syringe to draw the correct dosage and inject it directly into the skin. 

"This new bill would mandate that schools have the auto-injector pen available for students. It's the same medication, but this is pre-filled so you don't have to guess the dosage or anything like that. The nice thing about the epi-auto injector pen is that it goes through clothing so you don't have to remove jeans or shorts or anything. It just goes through clothing to administer," Butler says.

School officials tell 14 News that the EpiPens cost several hundred dollars, so purchasing them for all 38 buildings could be a huge expense. There could be state funding available to offset the costs. 

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