Durbin, Kirk Team Up on EpiPen Legislation - NBC Chicago
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Durbin, Kirk Team Up on EpiPen Legislation



    Durbin/Kirk Join Forces on Epi Pen Legislation

    New law would allow teachers to administer epi pens without fear of lawsuits. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011)

    Two Illinois senators are putting their political differences aside to join forces on a proposed law designed to save the lives of children in school.

    Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk announced the legislation at Children's Memorial Hospital Monday.

    It creates a financial incentive for states to allow schools to carry epin-ephrine injectors. EpiPens are used to treat children suffering from severe allergic reactions.

    "Many children don't know until that first episode that there is a food allergy and sometimes it's a serious episode," Durbin said.

    Currently, schools can voluntarily carry the pens if they know that a child has an allergy, but food allergies have not been diagnosed in an estimated 1 million children.

    A second part of the legislation, the Good Samaritan Law, allows individuals to administer the EpiPen shots without fear of legal liability.

    "It takes that one legal impediment, the liability concerns and takes it off the table so schools can tell teachers and staff to deliver that Epi shot to save a life," Kirk said.

    An estimated 6 million American kids suffer from food allergies.