Emergency Allergy Treatment Act submitted to NYS legislature
It’s always nice when our elected officials take the initiative to sponsor legislation that will help save lives. State Senator Michael H. Razenhofer is leading an effort to enact the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act and Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti has recruited supporters in the Assembly. You can read all about the legislation here, and we hope you will join us at our awareness raising event in Albany on May 19 from 9am to 4pm at the entrance to the legislative office building and/or sign our petition at www.change.org.
May 10th, 2015
By Jon Terry
Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Concerning anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and epinephrine, important new legislation is being proposed during the current session of the New York State legislature in Albany.
At the end of April, New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, IP) 61st Senate District submitted Bill S4935-2015, the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act for consideration of the senate health committee. The bill authorizes the certification of persons to administer lifesaving treatment to individuals who have severe allergic reactions when a physician is not available; allows an authorized entity to acquire and stock a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors with a prescription. “Authorized entity” includes restaurants, recreation camps, youth sports leagues, theme parks and resorts, entertainment venues and sports arenas.
In a letter to our association announcing his bill, Senator Ranzenhofer stated that his legislation was “…modeled after the recent Florida law enacted in 2014.” The Senator has previously voted in favor of new laws improving access to life-saving epinephrine in NYS schools, including the Student Medications Carry act and the Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine act last year. “You can be assured that I will continue to be a strong voice in Albany on behalf of (your association) and all the residents of the 61st district,” he said.
This past Wednesday Assembly member Thomas J. Abinanti (D) Assembly District 92 followed suit in the assembly by introducing Bill NYS A07349 for consideration by the assembly education committee. Assembly co-sponsors include Assembly members Miller, Otis, Rivera, Buchwald, Galef, and Simon. Tom Abinanti was the principle sponsor for the Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine bill that was signed into law in 2014.
There are statistics that show the importance of immediate administration of epinephrine when symptoms of anaphylaxis occur after eating certain foods, taking medications or being stung by an insect. Unfortunately, there are also statistics of people who lost their lives because epinephrine was not available.
- The American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) estimates 500 to 1,000 deaths per year in the US from anaphylaxis.
- The number of children with reported food allergies continues to rise — from 3.5 percent in 1998 to 5.2 percent in 2012, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
- 8% of US school children (potentially as many as two in every classroom) may suffer from a food allergy.
- 50% of ALL fatal reactions to insect venom occur with NO previous history of life-threatening allergic reactions.
I believe that these two bills would significantly improve access to epinephrine in an anaphylaxis emergency. Any public entity where individuals with life-threatening allergies might conceivably congregate and could possibly have an anaphylaxis attack would be allowed (BUT NOT REQUIRED) to stock the Epinephrine Auto-Injector device (EAI). Furthermore, many of these businesses or public facilities already have life-saving devices such as the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) readily available.
On Tuesday, May 19th the Allergy Advocacy Association will participate in an awareness raising event in Albany. From 9am to 4pm we will be exhibiting at the concourse entrance to the Legislative Office Building in the NYS Capitol. Please join our advocacy efforts by attending or by signing our petitions on www.Change.org.
I believe that our New York can successfully follow the route established by other states that have already made Epi Entity Stocking a reality. The sooner we get started, the safer our state will be for individuals with life-threatening allergies. The goal of the Allergy Advocacy Association is a clear and direct one. "Not another life lost to anaphylaxis - Not another life lost to ANY life-threatening allergies!" Thanks and best wishes!