Senate Bill 75 was passed Thursday during the last day of the legislature. The Emergency Medications in Schools Act will allow school personnel, and in particular school nurses, to give students epinephrine shots or albuterol inhalers during emergency situations.
Republican Senator Mark Moores of Albuquerque sponsored a bill drafted in part by the New Mexico School Nurse Association to administer emergency medication to students in cases of severe allergic reactions or respiratory attacks.
Laura Case, Director of Nursing Services for Albuquerque Public Schools, said the measure will greatly help kids in rural areas of New Mexico. "You may not have a response time from EMS for 15 to 45 minutes," she explained, "so this will allow the school nurse to be able to administer those emergency medications and actually save lives for kids."
According to the Legislative Finance Committee, in New Mexico 12 percent of children have asthma and approximately two students in every classroom have food allergies. One quarter of severe allergic reactions in schools happened in children with no previous allergy diagnosis.
The new measure will go into effect during the 2014-2015 school year.