Public EpiPens pushed for in Windsor

The issue of whether EpiPens should be available in Windsor food courts, restaurants and fast-food facilities was debated in Windsor on Monday.

The Rotary Club hosted a pair of guest speakers Monday to talk about a pilot project along these lines that is underway in Hamilton to reduce the risk of allergic reactions turning deadly in these very spaces.

In Hamilton, the pilot project involves making EpiPens, technically known as epinephrine auto-injectors, which provide a shot of epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions, available at that city’s Jackson Square shopping mall.

Security guards at the mall have been trained on how to use them and when they should be employed.

None of the injectors have been used yet, but organizers say they are still considered an important safeguard.

“The idea of ​​the project here is to make these available, through what we call an EpiPen or an Allerject. These are the epinephrine auto injectors, very simple to use, and piggyback those with the automatic defibrillators that are available in all the public areas right now,” said Dr. Frank Stechey, a co-ordinator on the Hamilton project.

Some people in Windsor are pushing for this city to take a similar step and a petition has already attracted some 300 signatures.

“I’m very hopeful and I’m almost assured this is going to happen because it just doesn’t affect children who already have allergies. It’s of concern to all of us,” said Katherine Stomp, who is collecting signatures. “I personally know of three people that have been stung by bees with no previous history of allergies, who have suffered very severe anaphylactic attacks and been hospitalized.”

Stomp says she will present the petition to city council after findings from the Hamilton project are released in the fall.

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