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School nurses back legislation to keep epinephrine on hand

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Mar 08 2013 06:28:37 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A House committee on education looked at whether schools should be allowed to keep epinephrine on hand.
     
An epinephrine shot, also known as an epipen, is used in the case of a life-threatening allergic reaction or anaphylaxis emergency.
     
I met up with Bozeman Schools' district nurse Rebecca Spear where she demonstrated how an epipen might work, using a training device.
      
Spear tells me most students with life-threatening allergies have their own epipen but she says she's concerned about those students who have their first allergic reaction.

"It's on school property and we always call 911 if there was an emergency...But even in the time that it took 911 to get there we could give the epipen and that would start to reverse the allergic reaction," says Spear.

The bill originated in the senate and passed that chamber at the end of January with no opposition.

I asked if there were any downsides to using an epipen if there was no true anaphylaxis emergency.

She tells me the individual might feel jittery and nauseous but there's no risk to his/her health.