MA - Ambulance & First Responder Epi-Pen Training-time sensitive

30 replies [Last post]
By RJM on Sun, 12-03-00, 23:14

Hi --
I've been urged by someone from our allergy group to call our state rep regarding a bill that combines 2 former bills regarding ambulance and first responder epi-pen training. The bill is sponsored by David Donnely from West Roxbury. I was asked to ask my rep to co-sponser this bill. It is supposed to ensure that fire/police and ambulance personnel have and know how to use the epi-pens. The details I have are sketchy and I wanted to know if any one knew more or had specifics. I was told it is important to call tomorrow. I want to know exactly what I am talking about when I call in the morning. Anyone else heard of this or know more about it? Thanks so much.

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By L&Mojoe on Mon, 12-04-00, 14:38

Sorry, RJM, I'm from MA and I haven't heard of this. I'll try a search on the internet and see if anything comes up. Anyone get the Boston Globe this weekend??

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By Heather on Mon, 12-04-00, 16:44

Here's what I found:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Ward 20 (precincts 3, 5-20)
David T. Donnelly
Room 136, State House
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-2396
Party affiliation: Democrat
Email: [email]Rep.DavidDonnelly@state.ma.us[/email]
Profile: [url="http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/legis/member/dtd1.htm"]http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/legis/member/dtd1.htm[/url]

I've sent him an e-mail requesting more information on the bill.

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By Heather on Mon, 12-04-00, 16:55

The bill is being refiled on December 6 so everyone in Ma call your rep. before then to ask him/her to co-sponsor it! I just called my rep's office and she is going to co-sponsor it. She already co sponsored the past two but now those bills are being reworded so it's one bill.

Thanks so much for this info, RJM!

[This message has been edited by Heather (edited December 04, 2000).]

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By RJM on Mon, 12-04-00, 20:01

Hi --
I've been doing more research too. Nothing on the internet or the Globe, though I didn't get to read it thoroughly.

I spoke to the group leader again as well as Donnelly's office. These bills are to make Epi Pen training mandatory for all ambulance personnel and 1st responders ( police, fire etc. ). Apparently, the bills will die in the Health Care Committee by Wednesday if no action is taken.

THAT IS WHY EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTS THIS SHOULD CALL THEIR STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK THEM TO COSPONSOR THESE BILLS. (for emphasis, I am not yelling )

The current bill #'s are 5461 (ambulance operators ) and 5462 (1st responders). It may be helpful to explain to the representative that in cases calling for epinephrine, time is of the essence and could be a matter of life and death.

My representative is considering it. I will post back when I hear. Good for your rep. Heather!
Good luck eveyone!

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By RJM on Mon, 12-04-00, 20:02

Oops - I didn't read Heather's note closely enough when I said these bills.

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By RJM on Tue, 12-05-00, 02:17

Hi again --

My Rep is going to cosponsor. Family members from different towns are calling their Reps tomorrow.

Take care everyone!
RJM

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By AmyR on Tue, 12-05-00, 02:23

I plan to call my rep tomorrow. I'll post what happens.

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By AmyR on Tue, 12-05-00, 14:24

I just called my rep's office and was told that she was undecided about sponsoring the bill. It is apparently on her agenda to discuss today. I urged her office to sponsor the bill. I probably won't receive a phone call back but rather, a follow up letter.

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By Stacy on Tue, 12-05-00, 16:23

Do you ever wonder if there is some type of kick back from the peanut industry to members of congress to bury this type of legislation? Why else could someone even consider not passing something that would protect the lives of others? It seems so easy to me. If somethings helps better someones chances at life, vote for it to pass.

__________________

Stacy

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By AmyR on Tue, 12-05-00, 17:31

Stacy - good point. I was surprised to hear that my rep hadn't decided if she was going to sponsor it. It seems like a no-brainer to me. Why would she possible not support it?

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By AmyR on Tue, 12-05-00, 19:20

Good news. My rep's office called back to say that my rep wasn't only going to vote for the bill but she has decided to co-sponsor it. She said she really appreciated my phone call. This thread has proven why this board is so important.

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By RJM on Thu, 12-07-00, 02:14

Just wanted to say Yea Everyone!

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By RJD on Fri, 01-26-01, 17:59

Great job RJM ! I am very proud of you !

-RJD

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By maddiesmom on Fri, 02-02-01, 14:28

Hi everyone! Well, the bill has been assigned a new number...it is bill #1757. The great news is that the word is getting out! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I actually typed up a letter and gave it to all of my neighbors a month ago and much to my surprise one of my neighbors works for Channel 56 in Boston (and her hubby is a reporter for FOX News in Boston) . She gave the letter to her Producer and she called me and did a phone interview. Now they are coming to our house this coming Wednesday to do an interview with us about PA and how important this bill is. They want to put a "face" with a "problem" and hopefully more people with call their representative and support this bill after seeing the interview. I will let you all know when they are going to air the story. We can only hope that it will help.
Shandra

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By maddiesmom on Fri, 02-02-01, 14:39

Here is the web address for the Bill #1757 if you all want to follow the status of it. It was just passed onto the Health Care Committee on January 3rd. [url="http://www.state.ma.us/legis/history/h01757/html"]www.state.ma.us/legis/history/h01757/html[/url]

Shandra

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By Heather on Fri, 02-02-01, 14:44

Maddiesmom...please do keep us infomred about when they'll air your interview. There are many of here from the Boston area who would love to see something on the news. Good for you!

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By RJM on Mon, 02-05-01, 19:38

Hi --

Been offline for a while. Glad to hear that there has been progress and great work Maddiesmom!

Here's hoping that this gets the support it receives. Lately there have been a spurt of news stories in the Globe regarding FA'a, so it seems ( we hope ) that there is more awareness to keep our children safe.

Take care!
RJM

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By maddiesmom on Wed, 02-07-01, 21:41

Just wanted to update all of you on the TV interview regarding legislation #1757. The TV crews were at my house this morning. Such excitement and a great reason to really clean my house! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] The interview went great! They interviewed me first to tell my story how we first found out about Madeline's allergy (it was on a airline)and how this legislation will effect our lives. Then they taped Madeline just playing and being a 2 1/2 year old. She showed off her MedicAlert bracelet and told the camera guy what is says ! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] She was SOOO good despite all of the chaos. Then we taped her having a safe snack and then I showed the reporter how easy it is to train using the EpiPen (I have an EpiPen trainer that we used on the reporter). All in all, it went really well. Hopefully I got the point across of how important this law will be for all of us. The reporter told me she was also setting up an interview with Representative Donnely (who is complete support of this issue). The interview will be on sometime next week or the following week-I will post when they call the tell me so anyone in the Boston area can tune in.

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Tue, 04-10-01, 21:22

[url="http://www.state.ma.us/legis/history/h01757.htm"]http://www.state.ma.us/legis/history/h01757.htm[/url]

Posting the web address so it will work as a link.

------------------
Stay Safe,

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Tue, 04-10-01, 21:23

[url="http://www.state.ma.us/scripts/legis/ltsh.idq?HouseNumber=1757"]http://www.state.ma.us/scripts/legis/ltsh.idq?HouseNumber=1757[/url]

Link to >
Massachusetts Legislative Tracking System
Specific Bill Number Search Results

------------------
Stay Safe,

[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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By Heather on Tue, 06-12-01, 19:03

Below is an e-mail I received today from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. All Massachusetts residents, please call youre state rep. and senator and ask them to make sure this bill passes!

Dear Friends,

Now is the time to call your state representative and state legislator if you
want to support a bill that would require all emergency personnel to be
trained to carry and administer epinephrine for severe allergic reactions.
Currently only two classes of ambulance personnel are required to carry
epinephrine - the third class is optional by community, and police and fire
emergency responders are not yet required to carry epinephrine, even though
they are often the first emergency responders on the scene.

The bill (House 1757) had a good hearing by the legislative Joint Committee
on Health Care on April. We helped to organize a very impressive and
emotional group of speakers for that hearing - and many of you called, and
sent letters and e-mails at that time.

The Joint Health Care Committee has heard over 1000 bills this year. It is
our understanding that the committee must now, by the end of June, deal with
each of the bills by either (1) voting it out of committee with a
recommendation that the full legislature approve or modify the bill, (2)
voting not to let the bill out of committee, which kills it, or (3)
recommending a study, which usually means the bill dies on the shelf.

We at the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter, want to
see the bill passed this year. Unfortunately, the Commissioner of Public
Health has written a letter to the Health Care Committee saying that
anaphylaxis is a rare problem, that it is even rarer to have an anaphylactic
reaction without prior warning, that people subject to anaphylaxis should
just be trained to carry their own epipens, and that local communities should
each institute a planning process whereby they determine who in town is
subject to anaphylaxis, and they can then decide where to locate epipens. We
sent a letter to Commissioner Howard Koh, taking issue with his statistics
and approach, and sent copies to the Health Care Committee.
An aide to the vice-chair of the Health Care Committee says to call your
state legislator now to express your interest in this bill. He says that at
this point, calls are better than letters or e-mails. Ask your own state
representative and state senator to try to make sure that the Health Care
Committee approves this bill - because whoever it is in your family is at
risk for a life-threatening allergic reaction, and you want to know that
whether you are at home, school, camp, the beach, a restaurant or movie in
another town, that if you need to call 911, the emergency responder will be
able to administer an epipen!

Then, I am told, your representative and senator, and those on the health
Care Committee, will all be able to say that they are getting lots of calls
from their constituents who want this bill passed.

If you have any questions, please call us. If you want to find out who your
state rep or senator is, call the main number at the State House at
617-722-2000 or look at the state website at [url="http://www.state.ma.us."]www.state.ma.us.[/url]

Sincerely,
Patricia Goldman
Executive Director
Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter
220 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
phone: 617-965-7771 - toll-free 1-877-2-ASTHMA
[email]aafane@aol.com[/email]

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By Heather on Wed, 06-27-01, 19:57

Here's the most recent e-mail I got from AAFA - GOOD NEWS!

Dear Friends:

House Bill 1757 - the bill that would require all emergency first
responder personnel to be trained to carry and use epinephrine - has been
approved by the Health Care Committee of the MA legislature. We expect that
the full legislature may vote on this bill in the next two weeks.
Now is the time to contact your local state Representative and Senator and
ask them to PLEASE watch for the bill and to vote in favor of it. Even if you
have recently spoken with your local legislator, it would be worth it to get
in touch with him/her again. To find contact information for your local
legislator, call the State House at 617-722-2000 or follow this link (
[url="http://www.state.ma.us/legis/legis.htm"]http://www.state.ma.us/legis/legis.htm[/url] ) to the state's website.
We would like to thank everyone for helping to support this bill and we
hope everyone can push a little more to get it passed! Please contact us if
you have any questions.

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By Heather on Thu, 07-26-01, 14:55

Can someone explain to me what's going on in Massachusetts? I caught something on the news but it was right when I got home from work and my house was chaotic. I must have misunderstood the newscaster - he said all ambulances are now required to epinepherine but it's up to each city and town to train their people to use them. Tell me I misunderstood that!

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By DRobbins on Thu, 07-26-01, 16:00

Heather, which channel did you see that news report on? (We could check their website if you remember.)

Debbie

P.S. Where are you in MA? (I'm in Sudbury.)

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By Heather on Thu, 07-26-01, 16:48

I'm in Woburn. It was Channel 5. Good idea to look on their web site.

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By Heather on Thu, 07-26-01, 16:59

Thanks, Debbie. I found it on their website. I did not misunderstand - training is not mandatory. Talk about two steps forward and one step back! I'm still a bit confused, did it pass or not? Here is the transcript:

Life-Saving Epipens Not Always Available
Devices Help Deal With Allergic Reactions
BOSTON, 6:30 p.m. EDT July 25, 2001 -- It's a simple device that could save the lives of people suffering severe allergies, but many emergency workers don't carry it with them.

Watch Heather Unruh's Report Severe Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions constrict the throat because of uncontrollable swelling.
It causes the victim to chock to death from the lack of oxygen.
EpiPens
Epipens contain epinephrine -- the only treatment for anaphylactic allergic reactions.
Many EMTs are not trained in the use of epinephrine and do not carry EpiPens.
What Can I Do?
Rep. David Donnelly filed a bill that mandates that all first responders be trained in and carry epinphrine.
Contact your state representative and senator to support Bill #1757.
Click here to contact your local representative.

It's an epipen, capable of delivering a quick shot of epinephrine, the only treatment for anaphylactic allergic reactions. NewsCenter 5's Heather Unruh reports that at the Nobles Day Camp in Dedham, epipens are available throughout the camp, in case they're needed by one of the 40 children with serious allergies.
"It's most important that the epipen be administered as soon as possible, so the people closest too them are the CITs and the counselors, as well as the swim staff," Nobles camp nurse Sue Mosca said.

It's simple to use. A quick jab into the thigh right through the clothes, and it works in seconds. That's what Reeve Goldhaber's husband did the morning she woke up and she could barely breathe.

"We quickly used the epipen in my thigh, and it was an immediate response," Goldhaber said. "I could almost immediately breathe normally."

She's lucky they had epipen in the house, because none of the first responders to their 911 call -- the police, fire department and a basic life support ambulance -- carried it. Only an advanced life support ambulance that arrived 12 minutes later did. So her husband, cardiologist Sam Goldhaber, has been pushing a bill in the legislature mandating it for all emergency first responders.

"Surely if we can trust first responders with automatic defibrillators, we can train and then entrust epipens to the first responders as well," he said.

As of Oct. 1, all ambulances in Massachusetts will carry the drug. But the Department of Public Health says training and funding police and fire fighters to use it should remain a local issue.

"So those communities will decide for themselves and they'll make decisions based on response times, transport times," Paul Jacobsen of the DPH said.

Goldhaber wants to see the bill pass to ensure people in every city and town have access to epipen.

"This is one of the safest emergency medications available in our entire formulary," he said.

[This message has been edited by Heather (edited July 26, 2001).]

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

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By DRobbins on Thu, 07-26-01, 18:16

[quote]Originally posted by Heather:
As of Oct. 1, all ambulances in Massachusetts will carry the drug. But the Department of Public Health says training and funding police and fire fighters to use it should remain a local issue.

Gimme a break. I'll stop by the 3 firestations in town and train the fire fighters and paramedics myself. I won't even charge them for my services :-)

This way, they won't have to go through a vote at the town meeting and then another townwide vote to get the funding for the training.

Seriously, the way local government works in this state, I can't imagine how the bill will make a difference if it requires action at the municipal level to actually get epinephrine in the hands of people trained to administer it.

Debbie

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By Heather on Wed, 08-15-01, 18:55

An e-mail I received:

Dear Friends:

House Bill 1757, which would require all emergency first responders to carry
and be trained to use injectable epinephrine, has been approved by the Health
Care Committee! However, now the bill must be approved by the Ways & Means
Committee, and WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Now is the time to call your local representative and tell them why YOU want
this bill passed and how, if passed, this bill will affect you and your
family. Let them know that school nurses, camp counselors and others have
already been trained in the use of epinephrine, and that the state MUST find
a financially feasible way to do this with all first responder emergency
personnel. Right now, if you call 911, the responders MAY NOT BE TRAINED OR
MAY NOT CARRY EPINEPHRINE! Many people do not know this, and that is why
House Bill 1757 is crucial to saving lives!

Below is a list of the members of the Ways & Means Committee and their
corresponding districts. This committee is chaired by Sen. Mark Montigney
(617-722-1481). Please look for your local representative and call and urge
them to support House Bill 1757. If your local representative is not on the
Ways & Means Committee, please contact them and tell them to call the Ways &
Means Committee to support this bill.

Now is the time to show your support for House Bill 1757!

Please contact our office if you have any questions of concerns.

Patricia Goldman
Executive Director
Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter
220 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
phone: 617-965-7771 - toll-free 1-877-2-ASTHMA
[email]aafane@aol.com[/email]

WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE:
Chair - Sen. Mark Montigny (617)722-1481

MEMBERS DISTRICT PHONE
Ciampa, Vincent: Sommerville 722-2120
Connolly, Edward: Everett 722-2692
Creedon, Geraldine: Brockton 722-2575
Fallon, Christopher: Malden 722-2396
Fennell, Robert: Boston 722-2470
Flavin, Nancy: Easthampton 722-2380
Flynn, David: Bridgewater 722-2017
Fox, Gloria: Boston 722-2692
Galvin, William: Canton 722-2380
Goguen, Emile: Fitchburg 722-2400
Kafka, Louis: Sharon 722-2305
Keenan, Daniel: Blandford 722-2220
Kennedy, Thomas: Brockton 722-2012
Merrigan, John: Greenfield 722-2470
Naughton, Harold: Clinton 722-2396
Parente, Marie: Milford 722-2400
Pedone, Vincent: Worcester 722-2290
Rodrigues, Michael: Westport 722-2030
Rodgers, George: New Bedford 722-2692
Ruane, Michael: Salem 722-2380
Rushing, Byron: Boston 722-2637
Speloitis, Theodore: Danvers 722-2960
Swan, Benjamin: Springfield 722-2692
Travis, Philip: Rehoboth 722-2430
Turkington, Eric: Falmouth 722-2210
Frost, Paul: Auburn 722-2487
George, Thomas: Yarmouth 722-2487
Hargraves, Robert: Grafton 722-2305
Lepper, John: Attleborough 722-2100
Pope, Susan: Wayland 722-2305
Hillman, Reed: Holland 722-2256

__________________

From Australia...PA/NA 4 yo daughter.

Groups: None
By Heather2 on Tue, 10-23-01, 14:16

House Bill #1757 which would require all first responders to carry and administer epinephrine was passed by the Health Care Committee and has been pending in the House Ways and Means Committee. We are asking all interested supporters to call Representative Rogers at 617.722.2990 and ask that this bill be voted out of Ways and
Means and sent to the House. Please call and let Rep. Rogers know your story and why the passage of this bill is important to you and your family. Also, please contact your own Representatives and ask them to be in touch with Rep. Rogers.
Rep. Rogers email address is [email]jrogers@hwm.state.ma.us[/email]. If you communicate by email be sure to include your home address and telephone number.

Thank you for your advocacy of this important bill.

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By pamom on Tue, 10-23-01, 14:32

Just wanted to give you much deserved applause for all your hard work in MA. Hurray! It is good to see an advocate for our children hard at work.

I live here in Indiana and am going to e-mail my congressman about this issue. I will first research the paramedics and ambulance drivers in the area. I am sure they do not have epi pen training.

Great job in MA!!

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