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Abinanti Introduces Bill To Expand EpiPens In Public Venues

Assemblyman Tom Abinanti
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti Photo Credit: File

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mt. Pleasant) introduced legislation that would authorize certain public venues to stock and administer epinephrine auto-injectors in an emergency to individuals experiencing anaphylactic symptoms.

“More and more people need special medications and devices which are of no use if they’re not readily available at all times,” said Abinanti. “This common sense measure will help prevent avoidable tragedies by helping ensure the timely access to epinephrine for those who need it.”

According to an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America study, severe allergic reactions occur in approximately one in 50 Americans. Moreover, many people are not even aware that they have an allergy and can experience unexpected allergic reactions – including anaphylaxis – which can be fatal without immediate medical attention.

In 2014, the Legislature passed and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Abinanti’s bill authorizing schools to stock and administer epinephrine in an emergency situation without a prescription. This new bill expands that authorization to other public entities, including restaurants, youth organizations, sports leagues, theme parks, sports arenas and educational facilities.

Any entity that wants to stock epinephrine would need to assign a person who would take a short training course and maintain control of the device. No entity will be required to stock epinephrine.

State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), chair of the Senate Health Committee, sponsors the bill in the Senate. “These auto-injectors will save lives, just as the AED devices that are placed in public facilities to treat heart attacks have saved lives,” said Hannon. “It is vital that New York policy recognizes that epinephrine is the first-line of treatment for those experiencing anaphylaxis.”

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