AUSTIN In response to the Texas Stock Epinephrine Advisory Committee’s meeting on implementation of Senate Bill 294, a new state law that will allow schools in Texas to expand access to emergency asthma medications, Charlie Gagen, director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Texas issued the following statement:
“The American Lung Association in Texas thanks Representative Stephanie Klick and Senator Nathan Johnson for sponsoring the bill, the legislature for passing, and Gov. Greg Abbott for signing Senate Bill 294 into law. SB 294 will allow schools in Texas to provide more immediate access to medications for students and adults experiencing respiratory distress in schools. Specifically, the law allows schools to train non-nurse personnel to identify emergency respiratory distress and administer asthma medications to students or adults who are in respiratory distress. Asthma can be a deadly disease if flare-ups are not treated immediately, this bill has the potential to save lives in schools that take advantage of this authority.
“The American Lung Association urges the Stock Epinephrine Advisory Committee to swiftly adopt guidelines so schools across Texas can begin the process of implementing the new law, which has the potential to save lives and keep kids safe in school.”
Asthma impacts millions of lives and has a tremendous impact on our nation’s healthcare system and economy. In the U.S., over 25 million Americans, including 5.5 million children have asthma. In Texas, an estimated 492,000 children have asthma. Asthma is also responsible for more than 5.2 million missed school days and 8.7 million missed days of work nationwide.
The American Lung Association, as part of its Asthma Medications in Schools project, has a set of materials on this topic that may provide assistance to the public on its website at Lung.org.