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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: August 6, 2018 03:54 PM
From: Representative Ryan Warner
To: All House members
Subject: Permitting the Use of Epinephrine Auto Injectors (EpiPens) for Law Enforcement Officers
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation permitting law enforcement officers to carry, administer, or assist in the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors (more commonly known as an EpiPen). This legislation would not require all law enforcement to carry epinephrine, but would instead allow them to carry it so long as they follow the protocol to maintain non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors and receive training in its administration.

Epinephrine auto-injectors are used when an individual encounters an allergen which causes them to go into life threatening anaphylactic shock. This can occur as a result of an event such as a bee sting or due to an unintended exposure to a food allergen.

Food allergies are increasing at an alarming rate. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) reports that as many as 15 million individuals have food allergies, 6 million of those individuals are children. Food allergies are a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response, ranging from hives to anaphylaxis. Without the administration of epinephrine, anaphylaxis can be fatal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the prevalence of food allergies in children increased 50% between 1997 and 2011. Due to this sharp rise in food allergies, many times parents are caught unaware of a food allergy which could result in an anaphylaxis reaction.

Even when emergency personnel are contacted immediately upon the occurrence of anaphylaxis, emergency medical treatment may be otherwise diverted and not the first ones to respond in an emergency. Instead, many times the first responder in these situations are law enforcement, who do not presently have the authority to carry or administer non-patient specific epinephrine. If the individual experiencing the allergic reaction did not have an epinephrine auto-injector in their possession or were unaware they had a severe allergy, the law enforcement first responder would not be able to render assistance until EMTs arrive.

Previously, the Legislature has allowed for various individuals to have access to non-patient specific epinephrine auto-injectors. My legislation would extend the availability of training and access of these EpiPens to law enforcement officers who wish to have them when responding to an emergency call.

Please join me in co- sponsoring this potentially lifesaving legislation.

Introduced as HB2674