Emergency Epinephrine Act

Posted on: December 8, 2011

Over 25% children experience their first allergic reaction in school. Recent legislation protects children by allowing schools to maintain a supply of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) for use on students with a diagnosed allergy or to be administered by a school nurse on any student who he or she believes in good faith is having an anaphylactic reaction.  To facilitate distribution of EpiPens, the act allows any physician to issue a standing protocol and to prescribe EpiPens to the school.

Physicians issuing prescriptions or standing order incur no liability. The physician will not be held responsible for the injury unless he or she issued the prescription with a conscious disregard for safety.

ICAAP worked with the Illinois State Medical Society and other partners to pass this important legislation to further protect children in Illinois Schools. The Illinois Attorney General’s office has created informational flyers for physicians, parents, and schools.

The supply of emergency epinephrine allowed under this Act is not intended to replace epinephrine prescribed to students with known allergies. Physicians should still prescribe epinephrine as appropriate and encourage parents whose children are suffering from a severe allergy to put in place an Emergency Action Plan, an Individual Health Care Plan, or a Section 504 Plan with their child’s school.

For more information, contact Jennie Pinkwater at 312/733-1026 x 213 or jpinkwater@illinoisaap.com.