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Virginia first-grader Ammaria Johnson's allergy killed her. Her unfortunate death has now sparked renewed scrutiny and questions about whether or not EpiPen should be stocked by schools.
The EpiPen is a small device that injects epinephrine. It's prescription-only. It reverses severe symptoms of allergies.
And it might have saved Johnson's life. The first-grader suffered a severe allergic reaction during recess. She went to the school clinic with hives and was suffering from a shortness of breath. The school called 911 sometime after. When emergency crews arrived she was already in cardiac arrest, according to ABC News. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Her elementary school did not stock EpiPens, reports ABC News. This meant school officials could not have administered the potentially life-saving medicine.
School policies dictate that parents are responsible for providing the school with all daily and emergency medications for their children. They are also required to keep medications up-to-date. Medications must be specific to the child.
Johnson's mother says that she did submit a plan to school officials. However, she said school officials refused to take her daughter's EpiPen. They also didn't administer over-the-counter Benadryl when her daughter displayed symptoms.
Soon, schools nationwide might have to stock the emergency allergy medication. The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act was proposed just last month. The law would require schools to have EpiPens in stock. Schools would also be shielded from liability if they administer the EpiPen in good faith, reports ABC News.
Ammaria Johnson's allergy death may indicate that schools need to do more to protect children. If the new bill is passed, they will have to stock EpiPens in schools. It could end up saving lives.