Articles for Advocacy

Epi Kits for Emergency Medical Service in New York State

Did you know that only 17 states require every ambulance to carry epinephrine? Fortunately in New York State, all ambulances carry epinephrine and are staffed with crew members who can administer the drug to patients, regardless of whether they have a prescription. But currently, only EMTs with advanced training can use the less expensive syringe and vial, forcing those with lower levels of certification to use the more expensive epi pens. Therefore each ambulance must stock both. In a groundbreaking pilot program, many emergency medical services will be using Syringe Epi Kits, where EMTs of all levels as well as paramedics can administer epinephrine using a special syringe.

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Epi Safe Syringe

Epi Kits for Emergency Medical Service in New York State

By Janet Goldman,
staff writer,
Allergy Advocacy Association
December 10th, 2015

In our e-newsletters this past summer, the Allergy Advocacy Association explained the usage, effectiveness and perspectives towards Epi Kits, a new alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors (EAI) for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) crews. Unlike the auto-injectors, Epi Kits require the usage of a syringe and vial. Recently, we’ve investigated the efforts of New York’s EMS to adapt this technique.

To treat cases of dangerous allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis, all New York ambulances carry epinephrine and are staffed with crew members who can administer the drug to patients, regardless of whether they have a prescription. New York’s Bureau of EMS requires this provision. Not all states provide such accommodations. According to Dr. Michael Dailey, Medical Director for the Regional Medical Organization in Albany NY, “only 17 states require every ambulance to carry epinephrine.”

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NYS Regents finalize CPR-in-schools rules

NYS Regents finalize CPR-in-schools rules

The legislation was inspired by the 2000 death of a Suffolk County 14-year-old.

CPR Training On Dummy
(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

By Nick Muscavage
September 17, 2015

ALBANY – High schools across New York will be required to provide CPR training to their students this school year.

The state Board of Regents approved regulations Thursday requiring senior high schools to train their students in hands-only CPR and the use of automatic external defibrillators.

The Regents’ vote was the finalizing touch for the CPR-training requirement, which was passed by the state Legislature in June 2014 and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October.

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Requiem for Andrea & Simon (and Ben & Curt)

Requiem for Andrea & Simon (and Ben & Curt)

We are reminded once again of the importance of carrying Epi-PensTM and other medications with you at all times if you have a life-threatening illness. Two young teenagers died recently because they did not have their epinephrine auto-injectors with them during an anaphylaxis attack. Our founder, Jon Terry, also presents some alarming statistics on the low percentage of people of all ages who are not keeping their EAI devices nearby or not using them when they should. Read the full article here.

Andrea Mariano and Simon Katz
Andrea Mariano and Simon Katz

By Jon Terry
October 10th, 2015

During September two young people with life-threatening food allergies died from anaphylaxis. Here are excerpts from the news reports I read on the internet. 

Andrea Mariano, 18, who had just begun studying arts and sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, passed away on Sept. 18, 2015 following a severe reaction. Andrea’s grieving family, who live in Thornhill, Ontario, said the cause of death was anaphylaxis. Andrea had known peanut and dairy allergies.

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I Used To Think Peanut Allergies Were Bulls%#+!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Image via Shutterstock

I Used To Think Peanut Allergies Were Bulls%#+!

by Andrea Johnson

When my oldest child started second grade, we were informed that another child in the class suffered from a nut allergy and the entire grade would be going nut-free as a result. The letter rocked our happy little peanut butter and jelly world and I was simply livid.

My daughter was a picky eater from hell and peanut butter was one of the few things that she would happily eat. Couldn’t the allergic kid just sit at separate table or something? Why inconvenience a whole grade for just one kid? The world isn’t peanut free, dammit, why should school be allowed to dictate what I can and can’t feed my own child?

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Administering Epinephrine: When in Doubt, Just Do It

on left, Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD; on right - epi pens
Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD

Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, MD, a specialist in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Rochester General Medical Group, highly recommends if you have any suspicion that someone is having an attack of anaphylaxis, administer epinephrine immediately. There is very little harm that can be done and you may even save a life. Remember, every minute counts!

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US Senators Introduce Airline Emergency Epi Bill

Just as you would expect an airline to carry a defibrillator for a heart attack emergency, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group believes airlines should also be prepared to treat serious allergic reactions. Fortunately there is a group of U.S. senators who agree, and are sponsoring legislation that would require airlines to stock epi-pens for use on anyone in an emergency.

Image of an airplane wing

FARE Champions Bipartisan Federal Legislation to Improve Air Travel for Individuals and Families Managing Food Allergies

Coalition of Patient Groups Supports New Legislation Calling for Comprehensive Study of Airline Policies, Access to Emergency Medicine in Flight and Crewmember Training

August 6th, 2015

McLEAN, VA (Aug. 6, 2015) — Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on Wednesday introduced the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (S. 1972), bipartisan legislation championed by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the leading advocacy organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, and a coalition of patient advocacy groups. This bill directs the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to generate a national report examining airline policies for accommodating passengers with food allergies, and would require airlines to carry epinephrine auto-injectors for use in allergic emergencies.

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New epinephrine law is working well for Ohio kids

Representative Dr. Terry Johnson (R-R-McDermott, Ohio)
Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott, Ohio)

New epinephrine law is working well for Ohio kids

By Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson
(R-McDermott, Ohio)
June 23, 2015

As a state elected official, every so often we have the opportunity to work on legislation that can truly save lives. Such a bill happened last year, and once it was signed into law, it proved its worth in short order.

The new law allows school districts in Ohio to stock epinephrine medication for anyone who might need it. Having emergency epinephrine on hand is especially important for children who may have undiagnosed allergies to certain foods or insect stings.

It is estimated that one in 13 children has a food allergy. Ask any teacher or principal, and they will tell you that they give attention to food allergies. It’s serious business. A severe reaction to certain foods such as peanuts or dairy products can result in anaphylaxis, a critical and potentially life-threatening condition. Anaphylaxis closes the airway and shuts down vital organs. Epinephrine can halt it, and stabilize the person until medical help is provided.

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She was the most caring and selfless person I know

Ashley Frangella
Ashley Frangella
photo of Cathee Frangella
Cathee Frangella

It’s always tragic when we lose someone to a severe allergic reaction no matter how many precautions were taken throughout his or her life. Read about the family and friends of Ashley Frangella, who died five years ago, and how they continue to work tirelessly to raise awareness and money in her honor through Ashley’s Hope for Allergy Awareness (AHAA).

Family Raises Awareness and Funds in Memory of Ashley Frangella

July 7th, 2015
By Kristen Stewart

Although she passed away almost five years ago at the age of 20, Ashley Frangella was, is and always will be surrounded by love.

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Emergency Allergy Treatment Act Stalled In Albany

New York State seal

Emergency Allergy Treatment Act Stalled In Albany

Greetings from Jon Terry, the founder of the Allergy Advocacy Association. Concerning anaphylaxis, life-threatening allergies and epinephrine, the Emergency Allergy Treatment Act did not pass during the 2015 legislative session. After extending the session for an additional week to conclude important state business, legislators went home for good just before the beginning of July.

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The 2015 Legislative Season for Allergy Advocacy Association

Allergy Asthma Capitol Hill Day Logo Allergy Asthma Network Logo

Our Association teamed up with veteran advocates from the Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN) and the Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) group for two very successful days in support of legislation for those with life-threatening allergies. We were able to personally meet with our representatives including those in the U.S. Senate and House as well as many state legislators. We are very proud of our founder, Jon Terry, receiving an award from the AAN as the “Outstanding Patient Advocate” in recognition for his work in convincing New York state legislators to pass stock epinephrine legislation and his ongoing advocacy for epinephrine auto-injector training in schools.

It Takes a Team

By Toni Taylor
June 12th, 2015

The story of the 2015 legislative season is that great things are accomplished with great teams. From Washington, DC to Albany, NY, Allergy Advocacy worked with an impressive team of individuals and organizations to seek support of legislators at all levels of government. Our mission is to inform, educate and raise awareness about life-threatening allergies and anaphylaxis. We continue to advocate for the protection of individuals with life-threatening allergies through improved access to life-saving epinephrine.

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Emergency Allergy Treatment Act submitted to NYS legislature

New York State Capitol BuildingIt’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.

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