You may recall that last year I was able to speak to the Nevada Legislative Committee on Healthcare during their public comment portion regarding a proposed bill that would allow for school access to epinephrine. The bottom line is that epinephrine saves lives when administered quickly and appropriately. Nevada is on the cusp of joining a hopefully growing list of states that are providing a legal framework for schools to carry what is called “stock epinephrine” so that students that either don’t have their auto-injector as prescribed or have their first anaphylactic event at school can receive potentially life saving intervention as soon as possible.
The people working hard to move this bill forward in Nevada need your help.
Caroline of Grateful Foodie up in Northern Nevada has been meeting, often at a moment’s notice, with stakeholders, lobbyists, and representatives to tell the stories that will give a voice to this bill. I was so excited to help that I contacted our Assemblywoman, Ellen Spiegel, before we even had a bill draft number. I was nervous, I didn’t want to trouble her but she not only replied to my e-mail, she had someone from her office call and chat with me at length about what this bill means to our family and to families like ours in Nevada.
Do you have 10 minutes to spare?
Did you know that the medical incident response time for ambulance services in Las Vegas can be as long as ten minutes and fifty-one seconds? (Source: Page 87 of this Nov 2012 PDF: http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/files/ICMAfirestudy.pdf)
A child having an anyphylactic event at school may not have 10:51 to wait for help so I’m asking my fellow Nevadans to take 10 minutes now to take action about SB453 and encourage your representative to support the bill as it moves through the legislative session.
Here is the e-mail I wrote to Assemblywoman Spiegel, I have to update her office with the bill number actually since we have one now! You don’t have to write much but I hope this gives you an idea of what you can write:
Dear Ms. Spiegel,
I reside in District 20 and I wanted to reach out to you as our Assemblywoman to offer my voice as a parent of a child with multiple severe food allergies. There is a bill trying to make its way through the legislative process regarding stock epinephrine in schools (the goal being to mandate schools to carry these life saving devices).
I know you are busy so I will link to my blog post containing the statement I offered the Nevada Legislative Committee on Healthcare last year when the question of such a bill came up: https://ohmahdeehness.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/my-prepared-statement-presented-to-the-nevada-legislative-committee-on-health-care/
Food allergies are on the rise and actually in a Sunday New York Times feature printing on 3/10 there is a riveting and powerful story of the rise in food allergies in children and the measures parents and loved ones take to protect them: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/magazine/can-a-radical-new-treatment-save-children-with-severe-allergies.html?hp&_r=0
There will be a fiscal note on the bill, I’m told, because of the mandate (version permissive language for the bill draft) but the expense to Nevada would be far greater if lives are lost to anaphylaxis. Las Vegas’ emergency response time, for example, is over ten minutes, which is the time window when epinephrine needs to be administered to have lifesaving effect. If a child has a reaction at school and has to wait 10 minutes for an ambulance they could very well die. 25% of anaphylactic reactions in schools occur without a prior food allergy diagnosis. So there are children that could have a reaction absent a 504 plan or absent a prescription for injectable epinephrine. These children, as well as those whose parents simply cannot afford the approximately $100 per injector (if they have no health insurance) need Nevada’s help.
Thank you for reading and I would love to have the opportunity to chat with you about this issue that is near and dear to my heart. Thank you also for representing our district!
There is to be a hearing regarding the bill this Thursday, April 4, 2013. Even though the main activity will be up in Carson City, you can contribute here in Las Vegas at the Grant Sawyer Building at 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101 at 3:30 p.m. – feel free to comment or email me if you’d like more details on participating. Be sure to wear light blue to show your support! I am hoping to be there but even if I can’t make it I will be wearing light blue on Thursday and hope you will too.
If you’d like to find out where your address places you as far as representatives to contact, you can go here:
Thank you to FAPE Las Vegas for the link, here are some other suggestions they shared:
“Contact the members of the Health and Human Services Committee who are meeting this Thursday, April 4th at 3:30pm at the Legislature in Carson City and simulcast in Las Vegas in the Grant Sawyer building. Either attend the meeting in support of SB453 or email each member and ask them to support SB453. Here are their email addresses (please note that a short message of gratitude would be welcomed for Senator Smith).”
Senator Justin Jones Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Debbie Smith Debbie.Smith@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Tick Segerblom firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Joe Hardy Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us
Senator Ben Kieckhefer Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us