SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 - Utah) One
So far, only a few districts across the state are taking steps to stock up on EpiPens.
Emalee Fogg has all the basics to go back to school, but her purse is a little special.
"There’s this other pocket with my epi-pens,” said Emalee. “And my little card that tells you what I'm allergic to."
Emalee is deathly allergic to several foods. That EpiPen has saved her life on more than one occasion.
"It just feels like someone is pushing really hard on your leg,” said Emalee.
So back to school for Emalee means doing some teaching of her own, before classes even start.
Emalee’s allergies led her mom, Michelle Fogg to start the Utah Food Allergy Network.
"We presented at the school nurse conference this year about food allergies, [with a] training called "a shot to live," said Fogg.
Part of their goal, is to get an EpiPen in each school and train staff how to use it.
That training came in handy last spring at Midvale Elementary.
“A student had eaten a kiwi fruit they'd never been exposed to, and had an anaphylactic reaction,” said Stacy Drew, Nurse for the
The staff was able to use the EpiPen to save the student’s life.
“Symptoms can progress really quickly,” said Fogg. “Having that medication on hand to halt that reaction, and buy time for emergency personnel to respond at the school and have further assistance is crucial.”
Even more crucial, with severe allergies on the rise.
“Maybe we'd have one to two EpiPens in a school, now we have more like 15-18,” said Drew.
EpiPens cost around $200 each, but the
Epi Pen and Auvi-Q will provide EpiPens for free to schools the first year, and at a discounted rate after that.