The first bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, Senate Bill 5104, was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee. Under this bill, school districts and private schools will have the ability to have stock epinephrine autoinjectors prescribed to their schools for the treatment or avoidance of severe allergic reactions.
“This is an accomplishment,” said Mullet. “The EpiPen bill was the first piece of legislation I introduced on the Senate floor and the first to be signed by the governor. I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and those who worked to help get it passed.”
In the event of a severe allergic reaction a victim may rapidly experience an itchy rash, throat swelling and if left untreated could go into anaphylactic shock. An injection of epinephrine, commonly known as adrenaline, can help treat or avoid a severe reaction. Common causes of allergic reactions include food, insect bites or stings, and medications.
If a student has a personal prescription for epinephrine, under the bill, a school nurse or designated trained school personnel may administer an EpiPen. However, if a student does not have a prescription, only a school nurse may administer the medicine.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will give a recommendation to the Legislature by December 1st of this year to determine whether or not trained school employees may administer epinephrine autoinjectors to students without prescriptions in the absence of a school nurse.
“Our kids spend a majority of their time at school and need to know that if they forget their EpiPens or don’t know they’re allergic to something that there is a resource available to help save their lives,” said Mullet. “Epinephrine could have the ability to be just as lifesaving as a defibrillator.”