Public Act 098-0795, amending Section 22-30 of the School Code, was signed into law July 30, 2014, effective August 1, 2014. Previously titled, “Self-administration of medication and school nurse administration,” this Section’s title now more fully reflects the multiple areas it addresses—“Self-administration and self-carry of asthma medication and epinephrine auto-injectors; administration of undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors.”
The phrase “self-administration” was previously defined as a student’s “discretionary use of and ability to carry,” the relevant medication; these amendments eliminate “ability to carry” from that definition and define it separately.
Further revisions reflect that schools must now permit students to self-administer or self-carry asthma medication or EpiPens, provided that the appropriate authorizations have been provided. As to administration of EpiPens, in 2011 this Section was amended to allow school districts to authorize school nurses to administer an EpiPen to a student in accordance with their relevant plans authorized under law, or when the nurse believes in good faith that the student is having an anaphylactic reaction. However, these amendments clarify that a “school nurse” need not have licensure endorsed in school nursing, and that “trained personnel” may also be so authorized.
Several provisions were also added to address maintenance of an undesignated stock of EpiPens in the name of the school district, an ability of school districts since the previous amendment of this Section in 2011. Such prescriptions may now also be written in the name of “public schools” (not just school districts and nonpublic schools) and issued by physician assistants and Advanced Practice Nurses with specified authorizations (not just physicians).
The undesignated EpiPens may now also be stored “in any secure location where an allergic person is most at risk, including, but not limited to, classrooms and lunchrooms,” (instead of “in a locked, secured location”). “Trained personnel” may now be authorized to administer EpiPens (student-specific or undesignated). Required training curriculum and guidelines are set forth for school employees or authorized volunteer personnel to become “trained personnel,” this includes annual training to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis, as well as CPR and AED certification. The prescriber of the standing undesignated EpiPen prescription must now also be notified of its use within 24 hours of administration.
Other notifications regarding administration of an EpiPen added that a school district must immediately activate the EMS system and notify the student’s parent, guardian, or emergency contact; and within 3 days of an EpiPen administration at a school-sponsored activity, a report to ISBE must be made of certain information. The law also allows ISBE to adopt rules necessary to implement this Section.
For more information regarding these amendments or regarding your medication and EpiPen issues generally, please contact Michelle Todd, Laura Pavlik or Jennifer Eseed.