Epilepsy Foundation of America Supports SB 161
Epilepsy Foundation of America Supports SB 161 (Huff). Seeks to help California Teachers Understand Critical Issue
Sacramento, CA, (July 5, 2011) – The Epilepsy Foundation of America is the leading, national charitable health organization representing the nearly three million people in this country with epilepsy. As a result, we have a responsibility to work with school teachers nationally to provide proper information about epilepsy. We must rely upon our schools and teachers to work with organizations like ours to ensure accurate information about seizures is distributed. We need to work with school personnel who know what epilepsy is, who recognize its symptoms, and who understand the need for medically approved interventions to stop seizures. This means working together on important legislation like SB 161.
Epilepsy California and Epilepsy Foundation of America strongly support SB161. This bill authorizes schools to allow volunteer, non-medical staff to administer an emergency anti-seizure drug in the event a student suffers a life-threatening epileptic seizure at school. Students with a doctor’s prescription for this medication generally must have it administered within five minutes - sooner than most paramedics can arrive. The timing is critical. Therefore, since we know that California teachers want was is best for children, we believe the California Teachers Association’s decision to oppose SB 161 is disappointing and ill-informed.
Diastat® is a FDA approved medication that has been on the market for more than 10 years for use by lay people and families with a prescription and simple instructions. No medical or professional training is required. The availability of Diastat has literally saved lives and neurological functioning in children. The FDA, national physician organizations and medical experts in the treatment of epilepsy resoundingly support the use of Diastat by non-professionals.
We hope the National Education Association, which oversees information, policies and positions of its affiliates, will work with us and the children and students who need our help. We encourage both the NEA and CTA to join the Epilepsy Foundation of America and Epilepsy California to support this critical piece of legislation.