Diligence on the part of Mission CISD (Consolidated Independent School District) health services officials is not only helping keep students healthy, but also is keeping the district well ahead of changing requirements. Bills have been introduced into the Texas Legislature that would require and guide the use of Epinephrine auto injectors (commonly called EpiPens) at schools.

Each Mission CISD school has had these potentially life-saving items since last school year, along with staff members trained on their use. Plus, for over ten years, the campus nurses have been equipped with a vial of epinephrine.

The latest improvement comes in the form of a shipment of EpiPen auto-injectors from Mylan Pharmaceuticals that also includes special storage boxes that will be placed at each school in an area near the campus AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

“We recognized the huge life-saving potential in the availability of the epinephrine auto-injectors some time ago,” said Magda Sauceda, coordinator for health services. “The trick is finding a way to make it affordable. In the case of the EpiPens, we have been able to take advantage of a program through Mylan that has provided them to us at no charge up to this point.”

Sauceda said prior to the no-cost EpiPen availability last school year, the district has been relying on more traditional vials of epinephrine for use by campus nurses, when necessary. “Just like we led the way when we got AED’s in our schools before it even came up as a mandate from the state, we have been looking out for our students through the epinephrine availability.”

Mission CISD began equipping each junior high school and high school with AED’s in 2003. That was expanded to include all elementary schools in 2006. UIL requirements for AED’s were not implemented until 2007.

Sauceda said the EpiPens, and epinephrine vials prior to the auto-injectors, have been used to help students during severe allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis almost each year the district has had them in place.

The district has benefitted from the donation of auto-injectors financially as well, through the money that is saving. To purchase the auto-injectors for the Mission CISD schools could cost almost $17,000 each year. District officials hope any bills enacted into law that might make the auto-injectors a requirement would also address funding for the devices and training of employees.

Pictured are the wall-mountable cases of epinephrine auto-injectors recently received by Mission CISD from Mylan Pharmaceuticals. They will be distributed to each Mission CISD school in the coming days.