Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Day in Albany
We’re back in the saddle again for a Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Awareness Day in Albany, scheduled for May 4. We plan to show our support for legislation that would authorize, but not mandate, public venues such as restaurants, youth organizations, sports leagues, theme parks, sport arenas, day care and educational facilities to stock and administer epinephrine in an emergency. This important legislation is being reintroduced by our champions, Senator Kemp Hannon in the State Senate and Tom Abinanti in the Assembly. If you can’t join us in Albany, it would be great if you could sign our petition (details below) or send a brief email to your legislator!
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Day in Albany
By Jon Terry
March 12th, 2016
Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Concerning anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and epinephrine, important legislation is again being proposed during the current session of the New York State legislature in Albany.
The Emergency Allergy Treatment Act S06800/A09357 has been reintroduced into the Senate by Senator Kemp Hannon (R) Senate District 6 and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti (D) Assembly District 92. Our association firmly supports the efforts of Senator Hannon and Assemblyman Abinanti.
This legislation would authorize, but not mandate, public venues such as restaurants, youth organizations, sports leagues, theme parks, sport arenas, day care and educational facilities to stock and administer the Epinephrine Auto-Injector device (EAI) in an emergency to individuals who appear to experience anaphylactic symptoms. Many of these public venues already have life-saving devices such as the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) readily available. This legislation would not require any entity to stock epinephrine auto-injectors, but would simply permit it provided all the requirements of the law, such as training, have been met.
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.
Mylan Specialty sponsors an EpiPen4Schools program that provides free Epi-PensTM for qualifying schools throughout the U.S. Their annual survey found 919 episodes of anaphylaxis in the 2013-2014 school year alone.
Most significantly, in 22% of cases anaphylaxis occurred in students or staff members with no known allergies, and they would not have had a prescribed Epinephrine Auto-Injector device (EAI) on hand (For more details please see the March e-newsletter on our Web site). Continuing improvement of access to epinephrine beyond the boundaries of our school districts is the best way to save lives when anaphylaxis occurs.
These auto-injectors will save lives, just as the AED devices that are placed in public facilities to treat heart attacks have saved lives. Placement of these devices would be especially appropriate in outdoor venues and camps where bees and other stinging insects are likely to be present, or in locations serving food where a severe allergic reaction to a food could occur.
- According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE):
- About 15 million Americans have food allergies.
- One in every 13 children has food allergies, about two in every classroom.
- Food allergies in children increased nearly 50 percent between 1997 and 2011, accor ding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Eight foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, pean uts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.
- Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency departm ent, more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.
- Children’s food allergies cost a collective $25 billion per year.
19 states already have laws similar to the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act. Oregon, Florida and Rhode Island passed legislation in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, legislatures in 16 more states (Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia) passed legislation.
On Wednesday, May 4th the Allergy Advocacy Association will participate in the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Awareness Day in Albany. We actively support any reasonable legislation that improves access to epinephrine. From 9am to 4pm we will be exhibiting at the concourse entrance to the Legislative Office Building in the New York State capitol. Please join our advocacy efforts by attending or by signing our petition supporting EATA on our Web site or on Change.org.
The vision 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!" I’ll be seeing you soon in Albany! Best wishes and many thanks!
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