Governor Cuomo Enacts "Gio's Law"

You would think that first responders would always have epinephrine on hand to use in an emergency anaphylaxis situation when every second counts. However that was not the case when Giovanni Cipriano had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts and could not be helped in time by first responders. His mother Georgina made it her life’s mission to pass “Gio’s Law” allowing police officers and firefighters to carry and administer epinephrine, signed into law last December. You can read the full story here.

Bill Signed Allowing Police and Firefighters to Carry and Administer Epinephrine

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Georgina Cipriano Cornago - Photo by Neal P. Kemp

Edited by Jon Terry
January 12th, 2020

In late December, with the 2020 legislative session looming on the horizon, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed "Gio's Law.” This law authorizes police officers and firefighters to carry epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to treat people having dangerous allergic reactions in an emergency.

After years of advocacy by activists in NYS, "Gio's Law" will help first responders to more effectively treat an anaphylaxis emergency. EAI devices can be used to reverse allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) from bee stings, drug reactions, food allergies or exercise-induced shock. The most commonly prescribed device is Epi-Pen© the brand name made by Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

The list of those who could administer injections previously included emergency medical technicians, children's camp counselors, staff at public and private schools and employees at sports and entertainment values, amusement parks, restaurants, day care and youth sports. Now the law includes police and firefighters, who are frequently the first responders on an emergency scene.

The bill was co-sponsored by state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville. "Our police officers and firefighters are often the first on the scene when someone dials 911 due to a life-threatening allergic reaction, so it makes imminent sense to enable our highly trained members of law enforcement and firefighters to carry Epi-Pens and help save lives," Tedisco said. Tedisco reported that he first heard about the issue from Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo.

Georgina Cornago Cipriano, a native of Long Island, is the creator of "Gio's Law." The death of her son Giovanni, who was allergic to peanuts, made Georgina an advocate for legislation to protect families with life-threatening allergies and prevent anaphylaxis fatalities. “Assemblywoman Melissa Miller R-Long Island was the first legislator that actually helped write the bill with me,” said Georgina. “She deserves all the credit.” Other sponsors were state Sen. Julia Salazar, D-Brooklyn, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

Georgina hopes that her family tragedy will encourage every parent with a child at risk for anaphylaxis to use an EAI device immediately. “Even if you are unsure if your child needs the epinephrine, don’t hesitate. Don’t let fear take over. It won’t harm your child if it turns out not to be needed, but it will harm your child if you don’t use it, and it was needed!”

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