Today, Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation to allow school nurses to administer medication for asthma attacks and allergic reactions even if students do not have a prescription, a measure that could save lives.
When a student suffers from an allergic reaction or an asthma attack, every second counts. The longer it takes to provide treatment, the greater the risk, Governor Martinez said. ―By signing today's bill, a school nurse will now be able to administer the medicine a student needs. This law can and will save lives.
School nurses already provide medications to students who have a prescription. But through the newly signed Emergency Medications in Schools Act, school nurses will now be able to administer Albuterol to treat asthma and epinephrine for allergic reactions -- even if a student does not have a prescription.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 25 percent of all first-time anaphylactic reactions happen in school. Additionally, New Mexico has a high burden of pediatric asthma, making the Emergency Medications in Schools Act an important step to ensure emergency treatment without delay for school students.
"Governor Martinez has shown us time and time again how committed she is in protecting the lives and futures of New Mexico's children, and today is no exception. We thank Governor Martinez today for her compassion and common-sense. We advocated for this legislation because we believe it will save lives, said Terry Huertaz, the Executive Director of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Lung Association, which advocated for the legislation.
The Department of Health will take the lead to develop the program for implementing the act statewide and will work in partnership with key agencies and organizations, including the Public Education Department.
Sen. Mark Moores and Rep. Yvette Herrell sponsored legislation leading to SB 75.