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Senator Sherrod Brown pushing EpiPen legislation
The federal law signed by President Obama in November offers grant money to states that require EpiPens and trained personnel in schools.
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has been promoting a newly-passed federal law to protect kids with allergies. From Ohio Public Radio member WYSO, Lewis Wallace reports now Brown is urging passage of a STATE law that would make the allergy drug epinephrine, aka the EpiPen, widely available in schools.
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Quick refresher: EpiPens are little injectors that interrupt anaphylactic shock.

One concern about having EpiPens in all schools is that not every school has a nurse to administer them.

But at an event in Dayton, Virginia Noe from the Dayton Public Schools demonstrates a teaching EpiPen that talks novices through the process of injection.

"It is reassuring to hear someone giving you directions, so this is what it sounds like," Noe said. "This trainer contains no needle or drug...if you are ready."

The federal law signed by President Obama in November offers grant money to states that require EpiPens and trained personnel in schools.

Senator Brown says that policy is an easy lifesaver.

"This is in no way alarmist, this isn’t a public health disaster, this is simply something we know how to prevent, we know how to deal with," Brown said.

A bill has already passed the Ohio house that would allow schools to have the pens even if they don’t have a student with a known allergy.

Senator Brown is pushing for the passage of that bill, and for further legislation that would give Ohio access to the federal funds.

Lewis Wallace, Ohio Public Radio

Correction: The radio version of this story described the teaching injector as a "teaching EpiPen." That designation is incorrect. EpiPen is a brand name, and the  epinephrine injection trainer product used in the story is produced by another company.   

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