Gov. Carney Signs Bill Allowing Epipen Access In Del. Colleges and Universities
DOVER, Del. – Delaware Governor John Carney signed senate bill 55 into law Tuesday.
The legislation allows emergency access for colleges and universities to EpiPens.
The bill allows an employee who’s had the proper training to give the drug to someone in anaphylactic shock, once they call EMS.
According to Sussex EMS, those few crucial minutes in between all coming in and response teams arriving on the scene can make all the difference.
“Even if we are in the station and we are close by ready to go; the ability to get that medication on board is critical, when we get there we are fighting time,” said Sussex County EMS Director of Special Operations Glenn Marshall.
If someone needs the Epipen, it could mean their throat is closing up, stopping their ability to breathe.
“Epinephrine helps to reverse that to help that reaction,” Marshall said.
EMS can only help once they arrive, the EpiPen helps to stabilize a patient before they do.
“It buys us that time decrease that gap from when the incident occurs to where we can get on-site administer medication and additional care that is needed,” Marshall said.
Delaware State University already has a supply of EpiPens but their spokesman told 47ABC this bill allows them to be better prepared in emergency situations.
“This legislation will allow us to extend this emergency capability to our police department who are also first responders and this will allow them to be trained,” said DSU Director of News Carlos Holmes.
Holmes says his interim campus police chief has expressed interested in getting officers trained and prepared to administer the Epipens.
Prior to the legislation, only staff memebers of the school’s health services office were allowed to administer the Epipens, but campus police are often the first responders to situtations where they may be needed according to Holmes.
“That’s the basic benefit of this to Delaware state university it opens that door to training,” Holmes said.
Marshall told 47ABC that college campuses can be particularly difficult to navigate for EMS, which can add to responses times during incidents where seconds are critical.
Marshall also tells us once an EpiPen has been used, it means a smaller chance someone needs to be intubated or put on a ventilator.
Intubations can be difficult to perform for first responders and costly and traumatic for the patients.