Mich. proposed legislation would allow first responders to administer EpiPens

Senate Bill 418, would allow departments to obtain prescriptions for, purchase and distribute EpiPens to firefighters, police with training on how to administer the drug


By Lauren Gibbons
MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

WALKER, Mich. — Michigan law enforcement officers and firefighters could carry and administer auto-injectable epinephrine devices - more commonly known as EpiPens - under legislation set to be introduced in the Michigan Senate.

EpiPens are most commonly used to counteract severe allergic reactions, particularly for people who experience an anaphylactic response that can be fatal if left untreated.

The bills come on the heels of legislation Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law that expanded the list of who could carry Naloxone drugs. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
The bills come on the heels of legislation Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law that expanded the list of who could carry Naloxone drugs. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

Senate Bill 418, sponsored by Sen. Michael MacDonald, R-Macomb Twp., would allow law enforcement agencies and fire departments to obtain prescriptions for, purchase and distribute EpiPens to officers and firefighters with training on how to administer the drug.

Currently, police officers and firefighters in Michigan are not authorized to carry or use EpiPens, according to a release from MacDonald’s office.

In a statement, MacDonald said first responders in Michigan are already equipped to use Narcan if a person is experiencing an overdose, so it makes sense for them to be allowed to treat someone experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction.

“In an emergency health situation, it is critical that responders can act quickly in order to give the individual the best possible care,” MacDonald said. “Allowing trained first-responders to carry this lifesaving drug would give someone experiencing an anaphylactic response to an allergy, cardiac arrest or an asthma attack a better chance at recovery."

A companion measure to the legislation is also set to be introduced by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Twp.

The bills come on the heels of legislation Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law that expanded the list of who could carry anti-overdose drugs. The new laws allow employees of governmental agencies and life support services to administer Narcan.

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©2019 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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