Law Allows More Epipens in More Places

Posted at 10:45 AM, Dec 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-19 10:45:11-05

It's a simple tool that could save a life. 

"You just take the blue cap off, and press down, and the needle pops out, count to ten and that's it.... I carry one in my purse, we have one here, we have one at our cottage," explained Theresa Anderson. 

Her 11-year-old son can't eat foods made with eggs, dairy and peanuts due to severe allergies. So, she's always on guard. 

"Did the kids that he's playing with outside just eat a peanut butter sandwich and not wash their hands and they're playing basketball? And it's - yeah, it's constant," she said. 

A constant challenge. 

"Going out to restaurants is not very safe or we don't do it very often. There are a couple of places that we trust, but it's just one, simple little mistake," Anderson added. 

But now, a new law allows public venues like restaurants and stadiums to have the epipen on hand in case of an emergency. 

"I always have an epipen on me, but you never know if one's gonna misfire, you never know if, you know, you forgot it in the car, or you know. So, having epinephrine in venues and restaurants, it just it makes sense," Anderson said. 

Epipens are used to help resolve someone's allergic reaction to food, latex or venom. 

Dr. Manoj Mohan of the Okemos Allergy Center told News Ten about 10% of the population suffers from one of these and that number is growing. 

"So having it available, having it at these places can only be a good thing," Dr. Mohan said. "Because if you use it in a timely fashion and it was truly an anaphylactic reaction, it could save that person's life."

Because, Anderson added, not everyone is aware that they have an allergy. 

"You find oyster sauce in things that you would have no idea, unless you saw an ingredient list and obviously that's not the case," she explained. 

Better to have it, than risk it. 

Dr. Mohan said the new law is a step in the right direction. He told us he'd like to see epipens become as common as a band-aid, included in every AED and First Aid kit.