At a Virginia elementary school on Wednesday a 7-year-old girl who had a peanut allergy, died after another student gave her a peanut that she ate during recess, according to the police report.
Police say that the girl, Ammaria Johnson, reported to a teacher after she started to break out in hives and had trouble breathing on the playground at the Hopkins Elementary school. She was then taken to the school clinic where she stopped breathing.
“When emergency crews arrived, she was already in cardiac arrest in the clinic,” said Lt. Jason Elmore, a spokesman for the Chesterfield County Fire Department.
The girl was not carrying an EpiPen, which would have saved the girls life by reversing the effects of the allergic reaction, expert’s say. Police say that the student who gave her the peanut had no idea Johnson was allergic to peanuts and there would be no criminal investigation.
“Although not a crime, Amarria’s death is a tragedy and the Chesterfield County Police Department expresses its deepest sympathies to her family, classmates and school personnel as they deal with this difficult and painful event,” Chesterfield County Chief of Police Col. Thierry Dupuis said in a statement.
“When it comes to a life-threatening allergic reaction, it’s so simple to save that life,” said Maria Acebal, chief executive officer of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, based in Fairfax, Va. “I have no doubt that the school where this little girl went had an EpiPen in the office — it just didn’t have Ammaria’s name on it.”
“No one in this country has ever been sued for giving epinephrine, to my knowledge,” said Acebal. “All the lawsuits come about because school officials don’t give it when it’s needed.”