EAU & H4CE Announce
Support of HB424 “Epilepsy Training in Public Schools”
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Thursday, March 5, 2015
The Epilepsy Association of Utah and Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy announce their support of HB424 “Epilepsy Training in Public Schools”, a bill introduced last week by Rep. Doug Sagers. The bill requires that school districts allow the administration of epilepsy rescue medications to students, as prescribed by a physician, and provide training to volunteer “first responders” who are willing to administer the medication as needed.
A family in Rep. Doug Sager’s district brought this issue to him, as they are concerned with their school’s seizure response protocol for their child. Because each school district establishes their unique guidelines for seizure response, some districts elect not to allow the administration of rescue medications, instead requiring that school personnel call 911 and wait for emergency responders to arrive and treat the seizure or transport the student to a hospital for treatment. This process results in varying and unpredictable lengths of time between seizure start time and treatment. Students suffer through their seizures until emergency personnel begin treatment that could be initiated promptly and safely by volunteers at the scene.
HB424 does not require school personnel to administer rescue medication. It directs schools to allow volunteers to treat seizures, as outlined by a physician, and requires that school nurses arrange for the training of such volunteers. The bill also protects district nurses, school personnel, and volunteers from liability for such treatment.
“This bill addresses a critical gap in emergency care management for students with epilepsy and related seizure disorders”, says Holly Ferrin, executive director of the Epilepsy Association of Utah. “Additionally, this bill empowers and supports school personnel in rendering potentially life-saving assistance. The EAU is thankful for the gracious work Representative Sagers is putting forth, and we fully support HB424."
HB424 is listed on the agenda for Health and Human Services Committee today at 4:10pm.
ABOUT THE EPILEPSY ASSOCIATION OF UTAH
Founded in 1973, the Epilepsy Association of Utah is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all individuals living with epilepsy and seizure disorders. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some time in their lives, leading to over 100,000 people with epilepsy in Utah alone. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the US, after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Epilepsy Association of Utah offers a public education program, statewide support groups, personal and professional advocacy, college scholarships, medical and transportation assistance programs, educational conferences, summer camp and more.
ABOUT HOPE 4 CHILDREN WITH EPILEPSY
We are parents of children with severe forms of epilepsy. The seizures take a toll on our children’s overall health, ability to function, and quality of life, leaving them with increased risk for sudden death. We desperately need new treatment options. We lobby to make high-CBD/low-THC cannabis extract available in Utah, and across the United States, to those who suffer with intractable epilepsy. The extract is not smoked and does not cause a “high”, but it can save the lives of children.
Press Contact: Candi Huff, Epilepsy Association of Utah
Press Contact: Jennifer Hardy-May, Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy