Bill allowing Oklahoma school districts to stock inhalers signed into law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Kevin Stitt signed a law allowing schools districts to stock inhalers for health emergencies.

Senate Bill 381, authored by Sen. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, at the request of a family who lost a loved one to a severe asthma attack at school, was signed into law by Gov. Stitt on Tuesday.

“Many people don’t realize they have asthma, and for others it can be so minor they don’t have problems. Brendon McLarty was diagnosed with asthma at a young age but it never caused him problems until the last day of his sophomore year when the 16-year-old suffered a fatal attack of sudden severe asthma,” said Floyd.  “By allowing school districts to provide inhalers on site, hopefully tragedies like Brendon’s death won’t happen.  Just like having Epipens on site, schools will be prepared for those kids who forget their inhalers or don’t know they have asthma. I appreciate everyone’s support of this life-saving legislation.”

According to lawmakers, the bill “allows a licensed physician to write a prescription for inhalers to the school district in the name of the school district and allows the district to maintain two inhalers within a secure location in the building. It also requires school boards that allow districts to stock inhaled asthma medication to amend their policies relating to self-administration of such inhaled asthma medication.”

Officials say Rep. Mickey Dollens is the principal House author of the bill, which was requested by Jennifer and Greg Blair on behalf of Brendon’s parents, Jon and Lori McLarty.

The American Lung Association says asthma can be deadly if not treated immediately and add that the bill has potential to save lives.

“The American Lung Association in Oklahoma thanks the legislature for passing and Governor Stitt for signing Senate Bill 381 today that will allow schools in Oklahoma to provide more immediate access to medications for students with asthma. Specifically, the bill allows schools to maintain a supply of asthma medications at the school, which students with asthma or believed to be experiencing an asthma episode can use if necessary. Asthma can be a deadly disease if flare-ups are not treated immediately, so this bill has the potential to save lives for schools that take advantage of this authority.”

School districts will officially be able to carry inhalers starting July 1.

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