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Updated: 6:37 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 | Posted: 3:29 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013
When a child suffers a severe allergic reaction, seconds count. Without immediate medical attention, the results can kill.
Now there's a new effort to get medicine and training in all Pennsylvania schools, especially since 25 percent of severe allergic reactions happen in schools without a prior diagnosis.
North Hills High School student Luke Fabisiak has a nut allergy, and must carefully scan food ingredients.
"That's how I learned to read," Fabisiak said.
His mother, Peggy Fabisiak said, "This is something he deals with every day of his life, everywhere he is, every meal."
A quick shot of epinephrine could save his life if he ever suffered a reaction.
Luke and his family have carried what's called an Epipen since he was diagnosed at 2 years old.
"I couldn't breathe. It was so severe that we had to call the ambulance and I was hospitalized," said Luke of his first allergic reaction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, food allergies in children have to jumped to more than 5 percent, and more than 12 percent of kids now have skin allergies.
State Sen. Matt Smith has now introduced a bill that would require schools across Pennsylvania to stock Epipens.
Deanna Hess, Mt. Lebanon Health Service Supervisor said, "There are children that die every year from not using Epipens or not reacting quickly enough."
Hess said her school district has kept their own Epipens in each of their buildings for more than five years.
Channel 11's Gordon Loesch found that everyone in school is trained on how to use the Epipen, from the principal to the janitor.
"It's a matter of minutes, and until you see that happen, it's hard to understand that sometimes," said Hess
Epipens cost about $100 each and they expire every year.
"They save your life. They're should be no reluctance in using them," said Luke, who believes it's an expense that will pay off.
Senate Bill 989 is currently being considered by the Senate Education Committee.
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