Washington, D.C., May 11, 2011 – New legislation introduced by Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) would provide grants for asthma management programs in schools across the U.S. in a step to ensure the nation’s 7.1 million children with asthma have access to care that could save their lives. Hirono announced the bill, H.R. 1692, The Asthma Management Plans in School Act, at the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) 14th annual Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill.
“Early access to medication can be a matter of life or death for students with asthma or anaphylaxis,” says Nancy Sander, president and founder of AANMA, the nation’s leading family-founded nonprofit organization for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. “Just like some schools have defibrillators in case a student goes into cardiac arrest, this bill would prepare schools for breathing emergencies such as asthma and anaphylaxis episodes.”
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma and Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Food Allergy state that asthma and anaphylaxis medications should be used at the earliest sign of symptoms. H.R. 1692 would provide grants to schools and local health or education departments to develop asthma management plans and staff training programs and to purchase medications and delivery devices such as inhalers, nebulizers, valved holding chambers and auto-injectable epinephrine necessary to help children if they have an asthma attack at school.
Asthma claims the lives of more than 3,400 people every year and costs more than $20 billion a year in healthcare and lost productivity due to missed work and school days. AANMA spearheaded the movement to protect students’ rights to carry and self-administer their life-saving asthma and anaphylaxis medications at school in all 50 states. This year on Capitol Hill, AANMA reinforced its message that Congress can save lives and reduce healthcare costs through patient-centered solutions grounded in the NIH Asthma Guidelines and Food Allergy Guidelines. For more information, visit www.aanma.org/advocacy.
Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA specializes in sharing family-friendly, medically accurate information through its award-winning publications Allergy & Asthma Today magazine and The MA Report newsletter, www.aanma.org and numerous community outreach programs.