Should Schools Stock Epinephrine?

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A San Jose father is lobbying Congress to encourage public schools to stock epinephrine, which is used to treat severe allergy attacks.

Brian Hom is pushing for legislation, known as the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, that would encourage schools to keep epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPens, on hand.

According to KGO 810 San Francisco, Brian's son, BJ, died four years ago. His death was caused by an allergic reaction resulting from peanuts in a desert. BJ did not carry an EpiPen because his previous reactions had been mild, and the family did not realize his peanut allergy could suddenly become severe.

As a result, the Hom family did not have any epinephrine to treat their son's allergic reaction.

Hom says that the proposed legislation would encourage schools to have EpiPens on hand to treat students, like his son, who do not have their own EpiPen with them. He says that this could save a student who is having a serious reaction, like his son's.

As for why schools don't already have EpiPens on hand, the Oakland tribunereports that according to the California School Nurses Organization, few schools in California have them because epinephrine medication is expensive, and it must be replaced every year.