Health law prompted by Courtland residents passes

ST. PAUL — After a three-year local effort to change state law, new state legislation signed into law Wednesday will allow first responders to administer complex prescription medicines to people with rare diseases in emergency situations.

The measure known as “Bailey’s bill” was introduced in 2016 after Curtis and Deann Johnson of Courtland approached lawmakers to allow emergency responders to treat their 9-year-old daughter Bailey for congenital adrenal hyperplasia – a condition that affects her glands’ ability to regulate her metabolism and immune system.

The bill removes legal liability for emergency personnel who administer complex medicines. Before the bill, responders could only administer simple medicines such as EpiPen, with doctors being the only personnel with authorization to administer complex medicine.

The legislation directs the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board to propose guidelines that authorize ambulance service personnel to assist patients in administering medications in emergencies. The bill’s intent is for the treatment of specific, life-threatening conditions that require the administration of medicine in manners that are within personnel’s scope of training.

The bill is co-authored by Sen. Nick Frenz, DFL-North Mankato, and Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter.

“I am grateful we were able to shepherd this legislation through the committee process, work with the stakeholders to address concerns, and see this important bill become law,” Frentz said in a news release. “No parent or child should have to worry that they are unable to receive life-saving medication by a trained emergency personnel. Today, it is signed into law and I’m happy for the families this bill will help.”

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