Thursday, September 19, 2013

After Texas boy dies from ant bites, debate rages over EpiPens in schools

Melissa Dahl
Sept. 20, 2013

The death of a middle school boy who suffered an allergic reaction to fire ants during a football game has added fuel to the debate about whether schools should stock epinephrine, a potentially life-saving medication for severe allergy attacks.


He died just one week after a bill was introduced to the U.S. Senate that would encourage states to require schools to stock epinephrine. The most well-known version of the medication is the EpiPen, a brand of the injectable form, which drives adrenaline into the person suffering an allergic attack.


Even though staff at schools in 30 states, including Texas, are allowed to inject an EpiPen in students even if they do not have a prescription for it, only four of those states -- Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska and Nevada --require schools to stock it.

Allergists say Cameron’s death highlights the importance of making epinephrine available to all students in schools across the country. Because, they say, Cameron’s mother is right – an EpiPen injection almost certainly would have saved the boy’s life.


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