Adams Concern At Shortage Of Epipen Medication

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has praised the tenacity of Caroline Sloan whose daughter Emma died two years ago from an allergic reaction. “As a result of her campaign the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar today announced a change in the law to allow for members of the public to administer life-saving rescue medicines in emergency situations. I welcome the Ministers decision”.

However the Louth TD has raised concerns at the current shortage of the adult preparations for the three brands of medication for epipens that are in use in this state.

Gerry Adams said: “The Minister’s response does not explain why there is a shortage of injectors. This problem does not exist in other states where epipens are available. This is a matter I intend taking up with again with the Minister and the HPRA.”

The Louth TD said:

“The new laws signed by the Minister will allow for the wider use of adrenaline epipens to treat people suffering severe allergic reactions and other conditions.

Sinn Féin has been consistently raising this issue, including in local councils. I have met Caroline Sloan the mother of 14 year old Emma Sloan, who died just before Christmas 2013 in O Connell Street after suffering an allergic reaction. Caroline’s campaign to ease the regulations around the availability of epipens attracted considerable public and media attention and the Ministers decision is in no small part a result of Caroline’s diligence. I want to commend her for her work.”

Cllr Kenneth Flood & Caroline Sloan

Cllr Kenneth Flood & Caroline Sloan

 

Kenneth Flood – Shortage of life saving Epipens is dangerous

Cllr Flood & Caroline Sloan

Cllr Flood & Caroline Sloan

Almost a year ago, Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Flood joined with Caroline Sloan, mother of 14 year old Emma who died after suffering anaphylactic shock in Dublin the previous year, to hand in a petition with over 115,000 names under the ‘Emma’s Voice’ campaign.

The campaign was started following the tragic death of the teenager to raise awareness of anaphylaxis and Epipens, which contain the life-saving drug to treat anaphylaxis.

Councillor Kenneth Flood said “Minister Leo Varadkar committed to big changes within six months which included educating and providing more information on EpiPens and making them more freely available with people trained in how to use them. Nine months later and nothing has changed. In fact, the situation has deteriorated because now the 26 counties is experiencing a severe shortage of the much needed medicine.”

The Louth Councillor continued “Since Emma Sloan tragically died, more than 140 children have been diagnosed with severe and potentially fatal anaphylaxis in the State. Those 140 children, plus the many more previously diagnosed and the countless others currently un-diagnosed are at risk without access to these essential epipens.”

In March, backed by Emma Sloan’s Mother, Caroline, there were submissions as to exactly what needed to happen. The submission made by Cllr Flood made the following recommendations:

1) The Food Safety Authority add allergy information to all training courses and include training on the use of (epinephrine)Auto-Injectors in all courses.

2) How to recognize and treat Anaphylaxis attacks and the use of (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors be included in all Occupational First Aid FETAC/QQI level 5 certification and above courses.

3) Introduce legislation, that allows (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors to be stored in schools and other public places in the event of an emergency. Making them mandatory in restaurants and other places where the public consume food or congregate in large numbers. (Similar to defibrillators.)

4) To run a rolling public awareness campaign, including internet, tv and print adverts to highlight all aspects of recognizing and treating Anaphylaxis.

5) On diagnosis of Anaphylaxis have all allergy sufferers supplied with allergy unique ID cards/Bracelets.

6) To develop a phone app that can help you keep track of which allergens you and your family need to avoid, where (epinephrine) Auto Injectors are located and when they expire, emergency contact information, etc.

7) To ensure allergy testing is available in every primary care unit in Ireland.

Councillor Flood called on the Minister to “stop dragging your feet on this issue. The promised legislation and changes must be introduced and all steps taken to ensure that there is an adequate supply of epinephrine Auto-Injectors in Ireland. These epipens are life-saving and immediate.”

“I have asked our TD and Party leader to submit a series of PQ’s in relation to the supply of these drugs. I was concerned when I learned about the lack of supply of the BCG vaccine but not to have a supply of Epipens is just irresponsible and dangerous.”

Kenneth Flood Makes Submission For Availability Of Epipens

SF Kenneth Flood SpeakingSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood who has been very active in raising awareness about Epipens and Anaphylaxis in a bid to increase the availability of Epipens, has outlined what exactly he would like to see happening.

Councillor Flood, supported by Caroline Sloan, whose 14 year old daughter Emma died after being denied an Epipen, has made a submission to Minister Leo Varadkar as part of a consultation process, promised after the collecting of over 115,000 signatures.

The Campaign ‘Emma’s Voice’, headed by Caroline Sloan moved the Minister to commit to big changes in the next six months which includes educating and providing more information on EpiPens and making them more freely available with people trained in how to use them. The Minister also spoke about grouping this training with training on other injectables such as diabetes medications etc.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction. It may start suddenly within seconds or minutes, or take a few hours to develop following contact with an allergen which is a substance that is capable of producing an allergic reaction. A severe anaphylactic reaction is sometimes known as anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis can cause the blood pressure to drop quickly, resulting in fainting or even sustained loss of consciousness. It can also cause severe breathing difficulties.

Speaking today, Councillor Flood said “we are not looking for anything revolutionary here, just basic common sense and safety for anyone who suffers from allergies. Gerry Adams TD and Matt Carthy MEP are both working hard on this issue also so we expect to see changes for the better and hopefully not have to see another child die because of the absence of a simple Epipen.”

The submission made by Cllr Flood made the following recommendations:

1) The Food Safety Authority add allergy information to all training courses and include training on the use of (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors in all courses.

2) How to recognize and treat Anaphylaxis attacks and The use of (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors be included in all Occupational First Aid FETAC/QQI level 5 certification and above courses.

3) Introduce legislation, that allows (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors to be stored in schools and other public places in the event of an emergency. Making them mandatory in restaurants and other places where the public consume food or congregate in large numbers. Similar to defibrillators.

4) To run a rolling public awareness campaign, including internet, tv and print adverts to highlight all aspects of recognizing and treating Anaphylaxis.

5) On diagnosis of Anaphylaxis have all allergy sufferers supplied with allergy unique ID cards/Bracelets.

6) To develop a phone app that can help you keep track of which allergens you and your family need to avoid, where (epinephrine) Auto Injectors are located and when they expire, emergency contact information, etc.

7) To ensure allergy testing is available in every primary care unit in Ireland.

Epipens

                 Epipens

Minister Varadkar must match commitment of Emma’s Voice Campaign

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD has praised the efforts of Driminagh mother Caroline Sloane who last week handed in a petition containing over 112,000 signatures to Health Minister Leo Varadkar following the heartbreaking death of her 14 year old daughter Emma in 2013.

Gerry Adams said;

“Myself and numerous Sinn Féin representatives have been involved in Caroline’s campaign over the past year to raise awareness of anaphylaxis and for a wider distribution of life saving Epipens.

“I am pleased that Caroline met with Leo Varadkar and that he has committed to bringing in changes in 2015 which will lead to greater awareness of the seriousness of allergic reactions and how people might assist someone who is having an allergic reaction.

“I welcome this commitment and I have issued a parliamentary question to the Health Minister today to find out exactly what his plans involve.”

Commending Caroline Sloane Deputy Adams said,

“Caroline has been campaigning nonstop for the past year on this issue and her dedication must be lauded. Her commitment to ensuring Epipens are placed in every crèche, school and restaurant in the State must now be matched by the Minister and I look forward to finding out what the next stage in this campaign will be.”

Cllr Flood Hails Results Of Emma’s Voice Campaign ‘A Huge Step Forward’

SF Kenneth Flood SpeakingSinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has warmly welcomed the latest Developments in the campaign to raise awareness of EpiPens and Anaphylaxis.

Yesterday, Drogheda Councillor Kenneth Flood and Dublin Councillor Greg Kelly joined Emma Sloan’s mother and friends as they handed in a petition with over 115,000 names which were collected over the summer under the Emma’s Voice Campaign.

The Campaign was named after 14 year old Emma Sloan who tragically died on O’Connell Street, Dublin in December last year after her mother was refused an EpiPen by a pharmacist as she didn’t have Emma’s prescription with her.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction. It may start suddenly within seconds or minutes, or take a few hours to develop following contact with an allergen which is a substance that is capable of producing an allergic reaction. A severe anaphylactic reaction is sometimes known as anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis can cause the blood pressure to drop quickly, resulting in fainting or even sustained loss of consciousness. It can also cause severe breathing difficulties.

Councillor Kenneth Flood has been working tirelessly on this issue since Emma’s death. Kenneth said “I asked one of our Councillors, Edel Corrigan, to put forward a motion in February this year which she did and the motion was passed. The motion was ‘calling on the HSE and the Minister ‘to ensure legislation and codes of practice be put in place to ease the restrictions on the availability of Epinephrine auto injectors (commonly known as EpiPens) and other Anaphylaxis medicines.’ I had not been elected at that time.”

Dublin Councillor Greg Kelly who was present yesterday got a similar motion passed in Dublin Council.

Flood continued, “I have been in regular contact with Emma’s mother Caroline and Gerry Adams TD and I have met with her to get legislation in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Caroline is to be commended for everything she has achieved so far. She described herself to me as ‘an ordinary mother’ and yet she is anything but.”

The Drogheda Councillor explained “following PQs submitted by Gerry Adams TD, the HSE confirmed there were just under 10,000 citizens with EpiPens taking part in the Community Drug Scheme. Full statistics were not available so this could be just the tip of the iceberg. We all seem to know someone who needs to carry these EpiPens so the danger is more common than you would think.”

“This recent development in the campaign is a huge step forward for anyone who is vulnerable to Anaphylaxis. Minister Varadkar has committed to big changes in the next six months which includes educating and providing more information on EpiPens and making them more freely available with people trained in how to use them. The Minister also spoke about grouping this training with training on other injectables such as diabetes medications etc.

“Sinn Féin are delighted this campaign has achieved so much over this past year. We want to thank everyone who was involved and especially Caroline Sloan for her persistence and want her to know that we will continue to support her and the campaign until such times as we see a change in legislation that will hopefully prevent further deaths like that of Emma.”