Senate Bill 1972, the Airline Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, will increase awareness and preparedness for responding to a life-threatening allergic reaction in flight, according to the Allergy & Asthma Network, which is urging Congress to pass the bill.

The bill would:

  • Require airlines to carry epinephrine auto-injectors to be used in the event of an anaphylactic emergency;
    Require airlines to train crewmembers to recognize the symptoms of an acute allergic reaction and administer auto-injectable epinephrine;
  • Direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct and submit a report to Congress on air carrier policies relating to passengers with food allergies.
  • Current FAA regulations require epinephrine vials to be included in each flight’s emergency medical kit; the new bill would replace these with easier-to-use epinephrine auto-injectors.

“Imagine trying to get the exact amount of epinephrine drawn from a vial into a syringe, all the while coping with turbulence and the stress of helping someone through a life-threatening emergency,” says Marguerite Pennoyer, MD, board-certified allergist in Scarborough, Maine and Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) volunteer. “Stocking undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors on airplanes will allow someone without formal medical training to administer the epinephrine and save lives.”

More information on the bill is available on the AAN website, here.