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EpiPen bill aims to save lives

Politics

An EpiPen bill that would allow public venues to have them has moved out of committee.

State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) knows just how terrifying a medical emergency can be. 

He said, “I was transported to a hospital in time.”

“I went through a life threatening anaphylactic allergic reaction and almost lost my life,” said Lesser.

“Their throat closes up and they can’t breathe and when you can’t breathe. It’s extremely scary,” said State Rep. Robin Comey (D-Branford).

Related: New peanut allergy treatment medication in the works

Comey has a 12 year old son with food allergies. That’s partly what inspired Senate Bill 706. It would allow any public venue to have Epinephrine Auto Injectors or EpiPens. The bill states workers would have to be trained to use it and would be protected by lawsuits.

Comey said, “This Epinephrine bill will be really important for those folks that really don’t know they have an allergy and they might have an anaphylactic reaction.”

If Connecticut passes this, they would become the 35th state in the country to do this.

Related: Senator Blumenthal introduces CURE High Prices Drug Act at Hartford Hospital

Public venues would include ballparks, concert venues, restaurants, and day camps. 

Right now, it’s estimated one in ten adults has a food allergy and 1 in 13 kids. So, that’s why the Connecticut Camping Association is in favor of the measure. Sometimes, kids come to camp not knowing they have the allergy.

“There will be an undiagnosed situation and, at that point, it’s basically a 911 call,” said CT Camping Association’s Keith Garbart.

The bill passed the Public Health Committee unanimously and it could be voted on as early as this week in the Senate.

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