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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate Passes Legislation Expanding Access to Emergency Epinephrine in Delaware Colleges and Universities

March 17, 2021

DOVER – The Delaware State Senateon Wednesday voted to allow colleges and universities in the state to acquire and stock epinephrine autoinjectors, and train employees on how to use them.

Epinephrine is used throughout the world to treat life-threatening allergic reactions to foods, insect stings, medications, and other causes. It is almost always administered via autoinjectors, most commonly referred to by the brand name EpiPen.

Senate Bill 55 would promote the availability and safe use of epinephrine autoinjectors at institutions of higher education to reduce deaths from anaphylaxis.

“Not only can this legislation prevent deaths here in Delaware, it can make a huge difference in the lives of students, staff, and parents who live in constant fear of a life-threatening allergic reaction,” said Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola, D-Newark. “This bill builds on past efforts to provide emergency medications in our K-12 schools and I believe it will lead to colleges and universities that are safer and more accessible to all students. That’s a noble goal, one that I don’t doubt will also pass the House and earn the Governor’s signature this year.”

The bill requires employees to complete a training program before being certified to administer or provide epinephrine to someone experiencing anaphylaxis. Training must include how to recognize symptoms of severe allergic reactions, how to store and use epinephrine autoinjectors, associated risks, and other considerations. Certifications under this legislation would last for two years.

The bill also exempts individuals who provide or administer epinephrine from liability under existing good Samaritan law.