ATLANTA (February 9, 2016) | Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R – Rome) urged residents across Georgia Tuesday to make sure they and their families are protected against severe allergic reactions, and to be aware that emergency treatment for anaphylaxis is now more widely available in public places.
“Those living with food and other allergies are typically prepared with epinephrine auto-injectors, but these new laws give those people additional protection, while also offering a safeguard for those who may suffer an unknown or first-time allergic reaction,” said Sen. Hufstetler. “Just like having a first aid kit or an emergency plan, families should know that emergency epinephrine is now available in both schools and other public places like restaurants and recreational parks.”
In May 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 126 into law, which allows emergency doses of epinephrine to be available for use in the case of a severe allergic reaction in public places like theme parks and sports arenas. Similar legislation has been passed in 18 other states and is pending in several more. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Hufstetler, also requires businesses who obtain epinephrine auto-injectors to have staff properly trained in the administration of epinephrine and provides “good Samaritan” liability protection for those who may administer the medication.
This legislation is a follow-up to a bill also sponsored by Sen. Hufstetler and signed into law in 2013, which allows schools to stock non-patient specific epinephrine on campus. To date, more than 1,200 schools across Georgia have participated in programs offered by medication manufacturers that provide epinephrine auto-injectors to school districts at little or no cost.
Sen. Hufstetler’s office worked with the Georgia Department of Public Health to launch an online toolkit to help organizations learn how to obtain and store epinephrine as well as resources on proper training of employees on how and when to administer epinephrine. More information can be obtained on the Department of Public Health’s website: https://dph.georgia.gov/emergency-epinephrine.