New Changes to the Law Affecting Epinephrine Administration in Schools

October 22, 2014

By Anthony Scariano III

Effective August 1, 2014, the Illinois General Assembly amended the School Code to allow school districts to obtain “undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors,” if they wish, for administration on or around school premises. An undesignated epinephrine auto-injector is one that is prescribed in the name of a school district, as opposed to a particular student.  These auto-injectors are commonly known as EpiPens.

A school district, through its school nurse or “trained personnel,” may provide an undesignated auto-injector to:

  • A student for self-administration, as long as the undesignated auto-injector meets the student’s already- existing prescription that is on file with the school; and
  • Any personnel authorized under a student’s individual health care action plan, Illinois Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan and Treatment Authorization Form, or Section 504 Plan, for administration on the student, as long as the undesignated auto-injector meets the student’s prescription on file.
  • School nurses or “trained personnel” may also administer an undesignated auto-injector to any person that they, in good faith, believe is having an anaphylactic reaction.

“Trained personnel” must complete annual training (on-line or in person), and must also submit proof of certification in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator operation. The Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) will eventually release training resources on its website.

The law also:

  • Requires  schools  to  activate  the  EMS  system  and  notify  certain  people  whenever  epinephrine  is administered, whether undesignated or student-specific; and
  • Requires schools to report certain information about an administration of an undesignated auto-injector to ISBE within three days of an administration.

The importance of legislation that affects the health and well-being of students can never be overstated. Attorneys at Scariano, Himes, and Petrarca are available to assist you as you review policies, procedure, and practices in your school district. Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information regarding the amendments mentioned in this bulletin.