FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2015
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN - Today, the Senate Education Committee heard Senate Bill 66, authored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa that relates to the use of epinephrine auto-injectors on public school and open-enrollment charter school campuses. The bill requires that unassigned epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens, be available on all public school campuses and off-campus school events.
EpiPens are the first-line of treatment against anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that is rapid in onset. Failure to recognize and treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine promptly is a major risk factor for fatality.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"The safety and well-being of our students is of the utmost importance. SB 66 will ensure that our schools have the training and equipment necessary to care for them, and would require that each campus have one or more school personnel members authorized and trained to administer an EpiPen present during all campus operating hours.
Food allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis among children. 1 in 13 children have food allergies and for 25% of Texas children, the first episode of food-related anaphylaxis occurs at school without a previous food allergy diagnosis. Care of students with diagnosed and undiagnosed life-threatening allergies has become a major issue for our school personnel, and SB 66 will work to prevent potential life-threatening allergic reactions."
SB 66 was drafted in memory of Cameron Espinosa, a middle school student from Corpus Christi who died after having a severe allergic reaction to ant bites he sustained during a middle school football game. Number "66" was his football jersey number. His mother, Josephine Limon Espinosa, traveled to Austin to provide oral testimony at today's hearing. She released the following statement:
"I am very grateful to Senator Hinojosa for this bill. I want to make sure what happened to my son does not happen to someone else's child since it is something that can easily be prevented. It's an honor to testify in front of the committee for SB 66 and grateful the bill is named after my son."