Grant Access to Emergency Epinephrine in Schools

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Target: United States House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Goal: Ensure that all schools have access to epinephrine to treat children suffering from severe allergic reactions.

The value of epinephrine in society today cannot be understated. It is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter that serves many functions within the body including regulating heart rate, blood vessel and air passage diameters, and metabolic shifts. But epinephrine is most commonly noted for its use as a manufactured medical tool. It is extremely important that this medicine be made available to those who need it, especially in America’s schools.

As a medical tool, epinephrine can be used to treat cardiac dysrhythmias, asthma, and  anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a rapid onset allergic reaction that typically results in a significant drop in blood pressure, itchy rash, and swelling of the mouth and throat to the point where air is severely constricted. The swift administration of epinephrine can prove a life saving tool in these situations. As such, it is critical that emergency doses of epinephrine are kept available in schools to be utilized in the event of a child suffering from an anaphylactic reaction.

With allergies to foods like soy, dairy, and gluten on the rise, there has been a measurable increase in school-age children dying of anaphylactic reactions. It only makes sense that schools should be given the tools with which to combat this frightening trend. This would includes not only increasing the availability of epinephrine such that schools now have emergency stores on hand, but also adopting good-Samaritan legislation to shield school employees from liability to ensure they do not risk a child’s life out of fear of litigation. For the health and safety of all school age children, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act must pass.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Congressman Cantor,

For a school to be successful, all efforts at maintaining the health and safety of its children must be made. One such means that is critically important is the Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act. This act would allow schools to maintain emergency doses of epinephrine which could then be utilized to save lives in the event of an emergency medical situation on campus.

Epinephrine itself is a naturally occurring hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter, covering many functions within the human body. These functions include regulating heart rate, blood vessel and air passage diameters, and metabolic shifts. The form of epinephrine most associated with the term, however, is a manufactured variation for medical use. This manufactured epinephrine has many uses that would all make it extremely valuable to be held as in emergency stores for schools. These uses include stimulation for cardiac dysrhythmias, asthma, anesthetics, and, perhaps most key to its importance in a school setting, as treatment for anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis itself is a rapid onset allergic reaction that typically results in a significant drop in blood pressure, itchy rash, and swelling of the mouth and throat to the point where air is constricted, sometimes entirely. Quickly administering epinephrine during anaphylaxis can prove to be lifesaving. As such, it is critical that emergency doses of epinephrine are kept available in schools to be utilized in the event of a child suffering from an anaphylactic reaction.

The sheer volume of allergies among children including wheat, soy, nut, and dairy allergies are on the rise. This inherently leads to an uptick in potentially fatal allergic reactions that could be severely curtailed by the availability of epinephrine for every school. It is for this reason that the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act must be passed, to protect the health and safety of children across the nation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Intropin via Wikimedia Commons

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