In 2013 the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation to make epinephrine auto-injectors (Epi-pens) more accessible in schools. The bill allowed schools to obtain a prescription, keep the medication on campus and provided Good Samaritan protections to those who administer the medication in an emergency. Since this bill was passed, evidence of its life-saving impact is apparent, including the saving of two students’ lives in Madison County.
Now, an amendment to a bill (HB 248) would expand this opportunity to include all public places, including universities, stadiums, restaurants and other businesses.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction caused by exposure to an allergen and has symptoms that can be life-threatening including closing of the throat and cardiac arrest. As allergies continue to rise in our country, particularly food allergies, anaphylaxis becomes a greater and greater public health risk.
Also, because the onset of anaphylaxis is immediate and often, unpredictable, it is critical that epinephrine auto-injectors are accessible in public places. When administered quickly, this medication can reverse symptoms, giving paramedics time to arrive and assess the situation.
This amendment would not make it mandatory for businesses to carry epinephrine auto-injectors but rather, would allow them to if they so choose.