New bill would allow police to carry EpiPens

Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow state and local police officers to carry medicine for treating severe allergic reactions.

Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland) said under his proposal, House Bill 2674, police departments would be permitted to stock a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, commonly known as EpiPens.

Officers who carry EpiPens would be trained to recognize the symptoms of severe allergic reactions and administer the auto-injectors.

The measure was amended to another proposal, House Bill 126, that would permit summer camps, colleges and universities, restaurants, amusement parks, sports facilities, daycare centers, and other facilities to keep a supply of EpiPens.

Warner said his 4-year-old son had a severe allergic reaction to a cashew earlier this year, and a police officer who responded could do nothing while they waited 25 minutes for an ambulance to respond. He said he and his wife had no idea their son had the severe food allergy.

“While I recognize our police officers have a lot on their hands already, the timely administration of epinephrine can mean the difference between life and death,” Warner said in a statement. “Police departments and officers who would like to be equipped with this life-saving medication should be able to do so, but current state law says they can’t.”

Police are permitted to carry Narcan for reversing an opioid overdose.

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