Governor Signs Epi-Pen Legislation

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Legislation, S801 / A304 (O'Toole / Turner / Russo / Rumana / Caride), that would require schools to maintain supply of epinephrine and permit administration of epinephrine to any student having anaphylactic reaction was signed by the Governor February 5.  The bill requires schools to maintain the drug in a secure but accessible location.  It allows both the school nurse as well as delegates to administer the pen if a child exhibits symptoms of anaphylaxis.

N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5 allows the administration of epinephrine to students with a history of anaphylaxis whose parents have provided consent as well as a pre-filled injector to the school.  Today, school nurses may authorize delegates to administer epinephrine after a review of child’s individualized emergency health plan and advanced training.  The new law would expand the law to allow the emergency administration of epinephrine to any child who is exhibiting an anaphylactic reaction and would permit not only the school nurse but also licensed athletic trainers, and trained designees to administer the prescription.

The new law also requires that public and nonpublic schools maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, prescribed under a standing protocol from a licensed physician, in a secure, but unlocked location that is easily accessible to the school nurse and trained designees for administration.     The lawl does expand immunity from liability to nurses and other school employees for good faith acts or omissions concerning the emergency administration of epinephrine.  

NJPSA worked with the sponsors to move the effective date to the school year following enactment.  The Association also successfully urged the sponsor to require the Departments of Education and Health to jointly develop training on the symptoms of anaphylaxis and guidelines on the number of pens required to stockpile.