herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Emma's grieving mother wins fight to make EpiPens available

Caroline Sloan, with a picture of her late daughter Emma, for whom she has launched the Emma’s Voice campaign to make EpiPens more widely available after Emma died from a peanut allergy.
Caroline Sloan, with a picture of her late daughter Emma, for whom she has launched the Emma’s Voice campaign to make EpiPens more widely available after Emma died from a peanut allergy.
Emma Sloan
Caroline Sloan

SCHOOLS, sports clubs and workplaces will soon have access to EpiPens for trained personnel almost two years after the tragic death of teen Emma Sloan.

The 14-year-old, who had a nut allergy, died in Dublin city centre in December 2013 after unintentionally eating peanut satay in a Chinese restaurant.

However, the Herald can reveal that legislation allowing for the more widespread use of EpiPens across the country will be enacted by the end of next month.

Caroline Sloan - mother of the Drimnagh teen - said she was "very, very happy" with the news.

Emma's family and friends have been battling for legislation to make EpiPens more readily available in emergency situations for the past year and presented Minister Leo Varadkar with a petition containing 112,000 signatures last December.

"We're delighted with it after all the hard work we've put into it. It will be nice for Emma's friends to say they've made the world a little bit better for people. It's a legacy for Emma," she told the Herald.

Yesterday, the Department of Health confirmed new legislation would go through government "in the near future" and would see EpiPens made available "to trained non-medical personnel for use in emergencies, through pharmacies and many other institutions".

A department spokesman explained: "Under the new legislation personnel in businesses and schools, when they have received the necessary training, will be able to administer EpiPens in emergency situations without prescription.

"This follows a public consultation earlier this year which found widespread public support to making EpiPens more widely available."

Caroline Sloan said the move will save lives in the future.

"I'd say it already has saved lives just by raising awareness," she said.

"Emma should never have died but I don't want Emma to have died in vain. It's a beautiful legacy for a beautiful child," the Dublin mum said.

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