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Governor Walker signs bill that broadens use of epinephrine injectors for allergic reactions

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MADISON — Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, July 1st signed into law a measure that broadens use of epinephrine auto-injectors by trained individuals statewide, devices once only approved for emergency use in Wisconsin by doctors or in schools by nurses during allergic reactions.

The small, pen-like devices deliver an instant shot of adrenaline to quickly open breathing airways severely constricted during allergic reactions to food, insect stings, latex or medications.

Wisconsin’s new law allows auto-injectors to be used beyond schools and at summer camps, colleges, daycare facilities, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, businesses and sports arenas.

“We are so happy and grateful that the State of Wisconsin now has this law. With more than 3 million people nationwide having a latex allergy, and when you combine that with the growing number of food allergies people are experiencing – reportedly one out of every 13 children – plus, the other allergies that can turn deadly, you realize how critically important it is to have this kind of accessibility to epinephrine auto-injectors,” said Sue Lockwood, executive director of the American Latex Allergy Association. “State Rep. James Edming of Glen Flora helped identify this important public health issue and generated bipartisan support to protect thousands of residents from life-threatening allergic reactions. Having these devices nearby, along with trained individuals to administer them, will provide critical life-saving protection until emergency responders can arrive.”

Epinephrine auto-injectors are commonly carried by parents, children and other adults with known allergies but now anyone suffering an allergic reaction can be protected in case of emergency. Public locations can now choose to have these devices on site. The law requires all sites with auto-injectors have personnel trained in administering the auto-injectors. These individuals are also protected from liability under Wisconsin’s Good Samaritan protections.