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Parents pushing to get drugs in school to combat allergic reactions


Parents are fighting to get EpiPens in all North Carolina schools. 

There is a bill in the General Assembly that would require principals to have one or more trained workers to administer an EpiPen if a student goes into an anaphylactic shock.
Research shows one in 13 children has a food allergy and 40 percent of them have severe reactions that could be fatal. It could cause blood pressure to drop, airways to narrow, and breathing to be impaired.   Parents are concerned the bill is getting nowhere at the statehouse.
"It's just mind boggling," Parent Dana Stoogenke said. "That they wouldn't do something so important and simplistic. It would save the life of a child."
Stoogenke's two children have allergies.  Both are allergic to peanuts and one to fish. The students have EpiPens stationed at their schools just in case.  The mother is concerned about the other children who may need an EpiPen and not know it.
"About 25% of children who have anaphylactic reaction in schools are undiagnosed." Stoogenke said. 
And the mother believes having an EpiPen at schools will come in handy to possibly save a life.
"EMS can't get there fast enough when a child goes into anaphylactic shock," Stoogenke said. "I don't want to have a child die in NC before the Senate can take action."
Senators say they need more questions answered before passing the bill.  It has already passed the House.  Senator Louis Pate believes the bill could place more on teachers' plates.
"Are we asking our teachers to be medical assistants," Pate said. "I think that is a bit much."
Pate also wants to hear from parents, teachers and nurses before approving the bill.  He also wants to hear about the implementation of the bill.
"We don't want the EpiPen to be loosely used," Pate said. "Is there a prescription and where will it be kept?"
While parents were hopeful this bill would pass before the legislative session ends, Pate says the bill may come back up next session.  Parents say when it does, they'll be right there.
"We're not going away," Stoogenke said. "And we are going to keep fighting until we get this piece of legislation through."
So far more than a dozen states have passed legislation that requires EpiPens to be located in schools.

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