ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Police Department should soon see a rollout of EpiPens in its vehicles following the Elmhurst City Council's expected approval of the program at its meeting Aug. 20.
The city of Elmhurst's Public Affairs and Safety Committee unanimously approved at its Aug. 13 meeting a report recommending the City Council formally approve the Police Department's epinephrine auto-injector program in which police officers would carry EpiPens, committee Chairman Scott Levin said in a phone interview Aug. 14.
EpiPens are a common brand of epinephrine auto-injector, which releases a drug that reverses the effects of anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction.
"We said, 'Let's get rolling,' " Levin said about the committee's action.
He said after the council approves the program Aug. 20, the city "should be ready to roll," as officers have received the requisite training, EpiPens have been obtained and Dr. Sam Yunez signed a prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors at the July 31 ceremony at Elmhurst City Hall during which Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the amendment to the Annie LeGere Law.
The law, which became effective in January 2017, enables police officers to be trained and equipped with epinephrine auto-injectors. The law is named for Elmhurst resident Annie LeGere, who died Aug. 26, 2015, from prolonged anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction. She was 13 years old.
The amendment specifies that a physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority who provides a prescription or standing order for epinephrine for an Illinois police department will not be subject to civil or professional liability for law enforcement’s misuse of the medication.
The Elmhurst Police Department has been prescribed 22 pairs of 0.15-milligram epinephrine auto-injectors and 22 pairs of 0.3-milligram epinephrine auto-injectors, according to a copy of the prescription Yunez signed for the department.
The 0.15-milligram dosage is for individuals weighing less than 55 pounds while the 0.3-milligram dosage is for individuals weighing 55 or more pounds, according to the standing order for the administration of the drug.
In every case, emergency medical services should be contacted as soon as possible, and the police officer should monitor the individual for changes in symptoms and attempt to make the person as comfortable as possible, the order stated. A second dose of epinephrine may be used if the individual's symptoms are not substantially relieved in three to five minutes or if the symptoms recur, according to the order.