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Madigan: More Schools Need EpiPens

AG's office releases kit to help schools get prescriptions to stock EpiPens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants EpiPens in all the state's schools in case kids have allergic reactions during the school day, and her office released a toolkit Monday to help that happen.

    "If we don't have the medicine to treat them immediately, we could end up unfortunately with deadly results," she said at a press conference at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.

    That life-saving medicine comes from an epinephrine autoinjector, commonly known by the trade name EpiPen. The injector gives a dose of adrenaline to help fight anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction from foods such as peanuts and tree nuts.

    But kids sometimes forget to carry their injectors, and that's why Madigan wants schools to stock them.

    The toolkit, also developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, provides a blank prescription form for doctors to authorize the schools to stock the pens. It also provides other resources to help school officials use the injectors on students who'd forgotten their own or who have their first reaction while they are at school.

    That happens in 25 percent of cases, Madigan said.

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law last year allowing schools to stock and school officials to administer the life-saving dose to students who are having an allergic reaction and have been previously diagnosed with a food allergy. The law also allows school nurses to administer the shots to anyone they believe is having a severe allergic reaction.

    Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and Skokie School District 69 have the pens stocked in case students have a reaction. All of Chicago's public schools are also stocked with the pens as of the beginning of this year.

    Madigan stresses, however, schools' stocking of  the pens is no substitute for students bringing their own.