Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent seizures.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation of New England, Kentucky, Tennessee, Connecticut and California already allow the delegation of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved rescue medications.
The goal of the bill is to allow a trained staffer to administer the medication if no nurse is on staff or available during an emergency.
Philip Gattone, M.Ed, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation, testified in support of the legislation.
“Access to emergency medication in all public schools and school activities is not uncommon in other states in the country, and a number of states have passed laws clarifying that emergency seizure medications should also be available in private schools,” said Gattone. “Studies make clear, and medical experts in epilepsy agree, that the use of emergency seizure medication by non-medical personnel can be done safely and effectively, and can be lifesaving.”
The committee will hold a work session on Chenette’s bill, LD 1491, in the coming days.
Chenette, a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, is serving his second term in the Maine Legislature and represents part of Saco.