Gov. signs Emergency Allergy Treatment Bill

Allows public businesses to administer epinephrine for food allergies

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill that will help protect people who suffer from an allergic reaction in a public place. It allows public places like restaurants, amusement parks, sports arenas and more to carry and use epinephrine without worrying about liability.

A local allergist says this is a smart move by the governor and thinks it can only be beneficial.

Dr. Sunil Joshi said 25 percent of people don't even know they have a food allergy and will likely experience their first allergic reaction in a public place like a restaurant.

Right now most businesses don't carry epinephrine injectors due to liability issues, but once this bill goes into effect, any business with proper training can administer it which could save lives.

"People who have significant allergic reactions to foods insect stings or medications can be potentially treated even if they don't have the medicine on them," said Joshi.
Allergist Joshi said, thanks to the just-signed bill people who suffer from a severe allergic reaction in a public place will have a better chance of recovery.

The bill goes into effect July 1st and will allow public places like movie theaters, restaurants, sports arenas and amusement parks to carry Epinephrine and use it if appropriate.

Joshi said before this bill, places wouldn't have epinephrine because of the fear of liability associated with administering it for someone who may or may not have needed it.

Any business will be able to get the allergic reaction treatment, but Joshi said they have to get proper training first.

"It's not obvious how to use it so they need to be trained in the appropriate timing and technique of its use as well as how to recognize an allergic reaction," said Joshi.

He said the training is fairly simple and hopes businesses jump on board because Joshi said this will help save lives.

"As opposed to having to go to the hospital or call 911 because with severe reactions, timing is very important the earlier you're treated the more likely you are to have a good outcome with that," said Joshi.

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