Education Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5521

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STORAGE AND ADMINISTRATION OF EPINEPHRINE AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.

Vote Date:

3/21/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/12/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Education Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The purpose of this bill is authorize and administration of epinephrine to students who do not have prior written authorization for epinephrine. Clarify the statute on the administration of medication in schools.

Substitute language: Added sub-section 'f' to Section 1 of the Bill; re-drafted 'b4' on the Administration; and sub-section E5 conforming changes.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Representative Kevin Ryan, 139th District, supports this bill. He stated the more rapidly anaphylaxis develops the more likely the reaction is to be severe and potentially life-threatening. The importance that CT schools stock epinephrine auto-injector and train school personnel to recognize and to administer helps our students in the event of an anaphylactic emergency.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Michael Corjulo, APRN, CPNP, AE-C, President Association of School Nurses of Connecticut, supports the bill but with specific structured training program on the proper storage and administration of epinephrine. Respectfully proposes to involve the School Nurse Advisory Council to provide a structured approach.

Bob Namnoum, UniServ Representative for the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), supports this bill. It expands the role of teachers in responding to medical needs of students in their care. The language in the bill clarifies the issue of personal liability for the teacher.

Deborah Findley supports this bill. She is also a co-chair for Advocacy Committee for FARE of CT and a substitute Nurse in the Westport Public Schools. One in 13 children suffers from food allergies. Deborah's son, Colin, had an allergic reaction for the first time when he was 3 and again at 16. More than 30 other states have passed legislation to provide emergency access in schools.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Melodie Peters, President, AFT Connecticut opposes this bill. She believes it is unreasonable for coaches, special education teachers and special education paraprofessionals who have received specialized first aid training to make appropriate determinations. Allowing non-licensed personnel to diagnose and treat children is a slippery slope and urges to include the School Nurse Advisory Council in an effort to better address this issue.

Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) opposes this bill. Concerns regarding potential liability exposure these new requirement would have on school personnel, and school districts, that could arise from well-intended but, improperly administered medicine.

Mary Jane Williams, Ph.D., RN, Connecticut Nurses' Association opposes this bill. She maintains this legislation has the potential of being an administrative nightmare for school systems and school nurses. The School Nurse and related administrators would be responsible for education of all individuals initially and thereafter.

Donna Kosiorowski, RN, MS, NCSN, Association of School Nurses of Connecticut opposes this bill. Signs of anaphylaxis require knowledge and the ability to determine the cause of symptoms before interventions are made. Training for staff must be addressed in legislation for safety and welfare of all involved along with persons making medical decisions defined.

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Inc. (CABE) opposes the additional mandate to purchase and provide professional development in instructing those who would voluntarily seek to administer.

Verna Bernard-Jones, MS, RN, NCSN, President of Hartford School Health Professionals opposes this bill. She is concerned to delegate to an unlicensed when there is no documented or known allergy.

Reported by: Nancy Jalbert

Date: 3/25/2014