School nurses will be allowed to administer emergency meds without prescription

Posted at: 03/09/2014 10:16 PM
Updated at: 03/09/2014 10:20 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A new bill could save the lives of students all over New Mexico.

School nurses will soon be able to administer emergency medication to a student without a prescription.

Parents will be able to breathe a little easier next school year.

That is because students who have allergic reactions or asthma attacks can be given the right medication regardless of a diagnosis or prescription.

“The very last one she was coughing for a long time without being able to catch a breath,” Monica Toquiento, a mother of two children who have frequent asthma attacks, said. “It’s very scary especially when you have premature babies, it’s very scary.”

She is one of the hundreds of anxious parents who drop their children off at school hoping against an attack.

“How I would describe it?” Monica’s 12-year-old son Zavdiea Toquiento said.“It’s like something clogging up. Like an object clogging my breath.”

According to the New Mexico School Nurses’ Association, an average of three students in every classroom in New Mexico have asthma and two students per classroom have a potentially life threatening allergy.

“I get a little worried of what's going to happen next,” Zavdiea said.

Sunday, Governor Susana Martinez, who had severe childhood asthma herself, signed Senate Bill 75.

The Emergency Medications in Schools Act allows nurses to have a stocked supply of Albuterol to treat asthma attacks and EpiPens to treat allergic reactions.

Right now, school nurses can only provide medication to students who have been diagnosed and have a prescription.

For anyone else, time is wasted waiting for a paramedic to arrive.

The new law will take effect in July.