Since 2002, ambulances have been stocked with emergency epinephrine, the number one medication used to stop an allergic reaction. Thanks to Nona Narvaez, a mother of a child who has food allergies, Minnesota passed a law that would require all ambulances to carry epinephrine. As the percentage of the population with food allergies rises, ambulances need to be ready to treat anaphylactic shock, a severe form of an allergic reaction that can be fatal if not treated immediately. Due to the expensive cost of supplying ambulances with emergency epinephrine, only four states have not passed the Epi-Pen Law which gives another motivating factor for food allergy advocates to raise the level of awareness and education for food allergies. In fact, in 2001, Illinois was the first state to enact a law that required EMT-Basics to carry Epi-Pen auto-injectors, a major step in the food allergy awareness campaign which was all due to mothers who were passionate about food allergy advocacy.
Not only are ambulances now stocked with epinephrine, schools around the nation are gradually seeing the importance of having stocked Epi-Pen auto-injectors just in case a student has an allergic reaction. In 2011, schools in Chicago are required to stock Epi-Pen auto-injectors under state law. There is a constant worry among families who have children with food allergies about the immediate availability of emergency epinephrine when they travel, so doctors often prescribe Epi-Pen auto-injectors just in case an allergic reaction happens. Epinephrine is the most important medication that food allergy sufferers carry around because it is the one thing that could save their lives if they have an allergic reaction.
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