Administration of Epinephrine Auto-Injector

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State Bill Would Allow Police To Carry, Administer Epinephrine

Rep. Warner was inspired by his son’s life-threatening allergies

September 27, 2018 - 2:42 pm
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By Jennifer Bloodworth for NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

HARRISBURG (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — A new bill introduced to the state House would allow police to carry and administer epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens.

Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) says he was inspired to sponsor House Bill 2674 after waiting for an ambulance for 25 minutes with an officer while his four-year-old son experienced anaphylaxis.

“I knew that it was a growing problem, but having that personal experience I’ve learned just how much of an epidemic this is becoming,” Warner said. “Millions of people go to the emergency room every year in the United States; thousands of people are dying.”

“And they can come out of anywhere! I mean we had no idea that our son had a severe tree nut allergy.”

Currently, police departments cannot even acquire non-patient specific epinephrine let alone administer it because it is a prescription drug.

Warner believes the nationwide increase in food allergies calls for an increase in quick, lifesaving access to the antidote to anaphylaxis.

“On average, there are two children in every classroom in the United States that has a severe food allergy. This is growing every year and it is becoming an epidemic.”

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports food allergies are 50 percent more prevalent in children than they were in 1997.

Citing the “time-consuming” nature of the commonwealth’s legislative process, Warner also had the measure amended into House Bill 126 that is already on its way to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk.

That bill would allow —but not require — organizations such as summer camps, colleges and universities, restaurants, amusement parks, sport facilities, daycares and other facilities to have non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors in their facilities with proper training.

Warner has taken over sponsorship of House Bill 126 after the original sponsor Rep. Matthew baker retired from the House.

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