(a) School districts, county offices of education, and charter schools shall provide emergency epinephrine auto-injectors to school nurses or trained personnel who have volunteered pursuant to subdivision (d), and school nurses or trained personnel may use epinephrine auto-injectors to provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering, from an anaphylactic reaction.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Anaphylaxis” means a potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity to a substance.
(A) Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, difficulty talking or swallowing, hives, itching, swelling, shock, or asthma.
(B) Causes of anaphylaxis may include, but are not limited to, an insect sting, food allergy, drug reaction, and exercise.
(2) “Authorizing physician and surgeon” may include, but is not limited to, a physician and surgeon employed by, or contracting with, a local educational agency, a medical director of the local health department, or a local emergency medical services director.
(3) “Epinephrine auto-injector” means a disposable delivery device designed for the automatic injection of a premeasured dose of epinephrine into the human body to prevent or treat a life-threatening allergic reaction.
(4) “Qualified supervisor of health” may include, but is not limited to, a school nurse.
(5) “Volunteer” or “trained personnel” means an employee who has volunteered to administer epinephrine auto-injectors to a person if the person is suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering, from anaphylaxis, has been designated by a school, and has received training pursuant to subdivision (d).
(c) Each private elementary and secondary school in the state may voluntarily determine whether or not to make emergency epinephrine auto-injectors and trained personnel available at its school. In making this determination, a school shall evaluate the emergency medical response time to the school and determine whether initiating emergency medical services is an acceptable alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors and trained personnel. A private elementary or secondary school choosing to exercise the authority provided under this subdivision shall not receive state funds specifically for purposes of this subdivision.
(d) Each public and private elementary and secondary school in the state may designate one or more volunteers to receive initial and annual refresher training, based on the standards developed pursuant to subdivision (e), regarding the storage and emergency use of an epinephrine auto-injector from the school nurse or other qualified person designated by an authorizing physician and surgeon.
(e) (1) Every five years, or sooner as deemed necessary by the Superintendent, the Superintendent shall review minimum standards of training for the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors that satisfy the requirements of paragraph (2). For purposes of this subdivision, the Superintendent shall consult with organizations and providers with expertise in administering epinephrine auto-injectors and administering medication in a school environment, including, but not limited to, the State Department of Public Health, the Emergency Medical Services Authority, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the California School Nurses Organization, the California Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Food Allergy Research and Education, the California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research, and others.
(2) Training established pursuant to this subdivision shall include all of the following:
(A) Techniques for recognizing symptoms of anaphylaxis.
(B) Standards and procedures for the storage, restocking, and emergency use of epinephrine auto-injectors.
(C) Emergency followup procedures, including calling the emergency 911 telephone number and contacting, if possible, the pupil’s parent and physician.
(D) Recommendations on the necessity of instruction and certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
(E) Instruction on how to determine whether to use an adult epinephrine auto-injector or a junior epinephrine auto-injector, which shall include consideration of a pupil’s grade level or age as a guideline of equivalency for the appropriate pupil weight determination.
(F) Written materials covering the information required under this subdivision.
(3) Training established pursuant to this subdivision shall be consistent with the most recent Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the most recent guidelines for medication administration issued by the department.
(4) A school shall retain for reference the written materials prepared under subparagraph (F) of paragraph (2).
(f) A school district, county office of education, or charter school shall distribute a notice at least once per school year to all staff that contains the following information:
(1) A description of the volunteer request stating that the request is for volunteers to be trained to administer an epinephrine auto-injector to a person if the person is suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering, from anaphylaxis, as specified in subdivision (b).
(2) A description of the training that the volunteer will receive pursuant to subdivision (d).
(g) (1) A qualified supervisor of health at a school district, county office of education, or charter school shall obtain from an authorizing physician and surgeon a prescription for each school for epinephrine auto-injectors that, at a minimum, includes, for elementary schools, one regular epinephrine auto-injector and one junior epinephrine auto-injector, and for junior high schools, middle schools, and high schools, if there are no pupils who require a junior epinephrine auto-injector, one regular epinephrine auto-injector. A qualified supervisor of health at a school district, county office of education, or charter school shall be responsible for stocking the epinephrine auto-injector and restocking it if it is used.
(2) If a school district, county office of education, or charter school does not have a qualified supervisor of health, an administrator at the school district, county office of education, or charter school shall carry out the duties specified in paragraph (1).
(3) A prescription pursuant to this subdivision may be filled by local or mail order pharmacies or epinephrine auto-injector manufacturers.
(4) An authorizing physician and surgeon shall not be subject to professional review, be liable in a civil action, or be subject to criminal prosecution for the issuance of a prescription or order pursuant to this section, unless the physician and surgeon’s issuance of the prescription or order constitutes gross negligence or willful or malicious conduct.
(h) A school nurse or, if the school does not have a school nurse or the school nurse is not onsite or available, a volunteer may administer an epinephrine auto-injector to a person exhibiting potentially life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis at school or a school activity when a physician is not immediately available. If the epinephrine auto-injector is used it shall be restocked as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than two weeks after it is used. Epinephrine auto-injectors shall be restocked before their expiration date.
(i) A volunteer shall initiate emergency medical services or other appropriate medical followup in accordance with the training materials retained pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (e).
(j) A school district, county office of education, or charter school shall ensure that each employee who volunteers under this section will be provided defense and indemnification by the school district, county office of education, or charter school for any and all civil liability, in accordance with, but not limited to, that provided in Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1 of the Government Code. This information shall be reduced to writing, provided to the volunteer, and retained in the volunteer’s personnel file.
(k) A state agency, the department, or a public school may accept gifts, grants, and donations from any source for the support of the public school carrying out the provisions of this section, including, but not limited to, the acceptance of epinephrine auto-injectors from a manufacturer or wholesaler.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 374, Sec. 3. (AB 1386) Effective January 1, 2017.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018