EpiPen debate stuck in North Carolina Senate - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

EpiPen debate stuck in North Carolina Senate

Does your child have food allergies?

According to FoodAllergy Research and Education (FARE), researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. have food allergies.

In North Carolina Senate Bill 700 would require every public school to have an EpiPen.

Parent Dana Stoogenke has done her homework about EpiPens. They can quickly reverse symptoms when someone goes into an anaphylactic shock.

Both her children are allergic to peanuts and one to fish. The allergies sometimes require the use of an EpiPen. Without it a reaction can be fatal. A severe allergic reaction can cause blood pressure to drop, narrow airways, and severe impaired breathing.

Stoodgenke recently had a scare with her daughter.

"After school we fed her an apple her lips started swelling up and it was terrifying," said Stoodgenke. "We never knew she was allergic to an apple."

She is now concerned if that happened to her daughter, what about the other children in schools who don't know they are allergic to certain things?

That's why Stoogenke and other parents are anxious for Senate Bill 700 to pass. It already passed the House. The bill is right now sitting in the North Carolina Senate's Health Care Committee. It's been there since April.

The bill would require school principals to choose one or more workers to be trained on how to use the EpiPen in case a student needs it.

"EMS can't get there fast enough when a child goes into anaphylactic shock," says Stoogenke. "I don't want to have a child die in North Carolina before the Senate can take action one child's death is enough."

Senators are saying,'Not so fast'.  Senator Louis Pate who is on the Health Care Committee says the committee is cautious about adding more to a teacher's plate.  

"Asking our teachers to be medical assistant I think that is a bit much," says Pate.

Parents were hoping the bill would pass during this session, but lawmakers say they want more questions answered first. They say it may come up next session.

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