Washington SHB 1541 Signed Into Law

Washington Governor Inslee signs landmark legislation

May 08, 2013, 22:55 ET from Epilepsy Foundation Northwest

SEATTLE, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday signed into law Substitute House Bill 1541 adding nasal spray medications to a list of medications able to be administered to school age children in Washington. The legislation allows emergent medication to be delivered immediately by a school nurse, or if a school nurse is not on school property administered by a designated trained representative.

"This is monumental for children with epilepsy in Washington who can now go to school knowing seizure cessation medication can be provided at the onset of a seizure," said Brent Herrmann, President/CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation Northwest.  "It took a frustrated mom of a child with epilepsy to bring the matter to the attention of the legislature to change law."

With the urging of Richland, WA mom, Heather Franklin, 8th District Rep. Brad Klippert of Kennewick, WA introduced the bill in the Washington House of Representatives in January that passed in March by a bipartisan 97-0 margin. The Senate supported the bill with a 48-0 margin in April sending it to Governor Inslee for signature.

Mr. Herrmann went on to say, "We are thankful for the Governor's signature and bipartisan legislative support confirming what we've been saying for some time. No child should have their prescribed medication withheld in schools during life threatening situations. The need for increased seizure education and awareness continues with the signing of this law, especially with advances in health care and medication treatment options."

In a recent letter to the Washington State Senate, Dr. Edward Novotny, Head of Seattle Children's Hospital Epilepsy Program said, "Children in Washington deserve access to basic treatments while attending school that is equivalent to care provided at home by their families and caregivers. This includes treatment of a prolonged seizure or clusters of seizures that may be treated by administration of medication by a nasal spray. Families living with epilepsy deserve the same kind of treatment options that could minimize brain damage, improve their quality of life, reduce financial burden and most importantly save the life of their child."

Under the new law, those who deliver nasal sprays may be required to be trained and supervised by the school nurse or other healthcare providers and must submit a letter detailing their willingness to give the medications. They are also required to call 911 after giving a child the drug.

About EFNW
The Epilepsy Foundation Northwest (EFNW) leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome challenges created by epilepsy. EFNW is the principal advocate for the epilepsy community in Oregon, Washington, Alaska with support to Montana.  Nearly 136,000 people are living with epilepsy or seizure related disorders in the northwest.

SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation Northwest