FAA urged to require epinephrine auto-injectors on every flight
Today, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require that U.S.-based commercial airlines include epinephrine auto-injectors in their onboard emergency medical kits (EMKs).
In their letter, sent this week after the FAA shared the Aerospace Medical Association’s (AsMA) recommendations for EMK contents, Khanna and Duckworth commend this first step by the FAA and also called on the agency to move forward and modernize the required content list for onboard EMKs to include epinephrine auto-injectors, as recommended by AsMA.
“The stress, fear and panic that millions of food allergy families endure is unimaginable, particularly when they are up in the air without normal access to emergency equipment,” said Rep. Khanna. “I’m proud to work with Senator Duckworth to request the Federal Aviation Administration recognize the wide-spread need to equip passenger airline medical kits with epinephrine autoinjectors. This is a simple step that will undoubtedly save countless lives.”
“Traveling with severe allergies can be difficult but, without access to proper medication, it can also be deadly,” said Sen. Duckworth “It is imperative that the FAA act quickly to ensure the safety of passengers with severe allergies by including epinephrine auto-injectors in EMKs.”
“The worst place for a life-threatening allergy attack or reaction to strike is midflight, tens of thousands of feet up in the air,” said Sen. Schumer. “Ensuring that all aircraft are stocked with epinephrine auto-injectors could be a true lifesaver. To keep the traveling public safe in the air, the FAA must act quickly to require epinephrine auto-injectors in onboard emergency medical kits.”
Rep. Khanna has been instrumental in leading the campaign for greater funding into allergy research and treatment options. In the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations omnibus bills, Khanna helped secure an increase of $362 million in funding for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) with a directive to invest in food allergy research, and an additional $10 million for the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) under the Department of Defense. Khanna was also able to secure authorization for study of food allergies within the PRMRP.
Sen. Duckworth is the Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety, where she has been a strong advocate for aviation safety. Last year, Sen. Duckworth and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on the airline industry to reverse its efforts to prevent airplanes from being required to carry life-saving medications, such as Epinephrine auto-injectors, in onboard emergency medical kits.
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