Here in Canada we’ve never had a fight to allow children to self-carry their own epinephrine injection device. Because of that, we’ve also not had the same fight as allergic people have had in the US to have schools and other public buildings have epinephrine available that could be used for any person experiencing anaphylaxis.
So imagine my surprise when I was at my small regional airport to send my daughter back to university for summer classes on May 12 and saw what was attached to the wall above the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device. There, in two clear plexiglass holders, with hinges for opening, were an Epi-Pen Jr and a standard Epi-Pen.
As I was standing there, taking pictures and talking animatedly to my daughter about this great development, we had people in the security line next to this emergency station ask us why it was important. I then had someone else ask about what the difference between the Epi-Pen Jr and the standard Epi-Pen were. Amazing!
So you might be wondering how this progressive program came about. It all started with a pilot project in New Brunswick in 2015 in conjunction with Food Allergy Canada and with donations of the Epi-Pens from Sanofi (the distributor of Epi-Pens in Canada). Food Allergy Canada put out release in April that outlines the program: http://foodallergycanada.ca/2017/04/saving-lives-stock-epinephrine-interview-nurse-practitioner-kelly-dunfield-2/
I’m so thankful that the original pilot program was so successful that it’s now being expanded to other provinces. I’d love to see this expand beyond Canada as well. The nurse practitioner who began the pilot project in New Brunswick is fielding calls from all over the world as recognition grows for the need for immediate access to epinephrine.
While I realize that in some countries there is a fear over litigation and use of epinephrine, I hope that fear can be overcome. It’s just the right thing to do.
Alana Elliott is the Founder and President of Libre Naturals (formerly Nonuttin’ Foods), a gluten free and allergy friendly food company she founded in response to her family’s many food allergies and immune disorders.
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