Posted December, 2010 – WestJet is working with the makers of EpiPen to ensure that one adult and one children’s epinephrine auto-injector will be available in the medical kit aboard all of the Canadian carrier’s flights.
This is a unique and progressive step – a majority of airlines only carry a vial of epinephrine and a syringe to use in an emergency involving an allergic reaction.
Since anaphylaxis is a condition that can escalate in minutes to include serious respiratory or blood-pressure symptoms, the availability of an emergency auto-injector, especially in an environment at 35,000 feet, is a move is being warmly received by the allergy community.
“We commend WestJet and King Pharmaceuticals [the makers of EpiPen] for working together on this initiative and trying to provide for greater safety for those passengers flying with allergies,” said Beatrice Povolo, spokesperson for Anaphylaxis Canada.
While allergic individuals are ALWAYS advised to carry their own auto-injectors onboard, a backup in the emergency medical kit is wise because:
– epinephrine shots can wear off and secondary reactions (often as serious) occur in up to 25 per cent of reactions.
– an individual could forget their auto-injectors and begin having a reaction to a food in the air.
– in the event that a shot is not correctly administered, there is a backup.
– many children or adults develop allergies. Anecdotal reports show that first-time reactions in the air do happen.
Next: read the full media release
EpiPen Marketer Teams Up with WestJet
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 2 /CNW/ – King Pharmaceuticals Canada and WestJet today announced that they are working together on a new initiative that will see the Calgary-based airline equip all of its aircraft with EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr (0.3 mg and 0.15 mg epinephrine) auto-injectors.
WestJet plans to add the newly redesigned EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors, marketed by King Pharmaceuticals Canada™, to the first aid kits in each of its aircraft. Epinephrine is the drug of choice for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions (also known as anaphylaxisa). EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are the country’s most-dispensedb epinephrine auto-injectors.
WestJet spokesperson Tyson Matheson, VP People Relations and Culture, said the process of equipping the entire WestJet fleet with EpiPen® auto-injectors is expected to be completed by early 2011. According to Matheson, the airline’s aircraft currently carry syringes and vials of epinephrine. For WestJet guests at risk of severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, the redesigned EpiPen® Auto-Injector offers the enhanced safety feature of needle protection before and after use.
“The new EpiPen® is designed for simplicity in an anaphylactic crisis, and we are pleased to have it available on all WestJet flights,” said Matheson. “We obviously take the welfare and health of all WestJet guests very seriously and believe that this initiative will offer peace of mind for our guests at risk of anaphylaxis.”
Travelers at risk of severe allergic reactions are ultimately responsible for taking all the necessary precautions including carrying their own epinephrine auto-injector(s). However, as part of its unique and caring culture, WestJet has long taken measures to accommodate these guests while maintaining a balanced experience for all other guests.
King Pharmaceuticals Canada earlier this year released a new version of its EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr auto-injectors, which now feature an enhanced, more user-friendly design and automatic needle protection. They are designed to make it easier to administer epinephrine quickly in an anaphylactic emergency.
“King Pharmaceuticals is very proud to be working with WestJet on this initiative, and our objective is to help prepare WestJet should a guest have a severe allergic emergency, a situation that can be particularly stressful when access to medical care is not immediate,” said Dennis O’Brien, President, King Pharmaceuticals Canada.
According to O’Brien, “A potential anaphylactic emergency – during air travel or at any time – is a reality for those at risk of a serious allergic reaction, and with EpiPen® Auto-Injectors on board each WestJet aircraft, we hope guests at risk will appreciate this extra measure as an addition to precautions taken on their own. We commend WestJet for taking these measures to be prepared to help a guest should the need arise.”
The new EpiPen® automatic needle protection feature prevents exposure to the needle-end before and after use. When EpiPen® auto-injector is removed from the injection site on the thigh, the needle cover automatically extends beyond the needle. The needle is not exposed before, during, or after injection. For details on the new EpiPen®, visit www.EpiPen.ca .
More information about WestJet’s allergy policy can be found on www.westjet.com  in the Travel Essentials section under Guests with Special Needs.
|EpiPen® Indication and Important Safety Information EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are indicated for the emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions in patients who are determined to be at increased risk for anaphylaxis, including individuals with a history of anaphylactic reactions. Selection of the appropriate dosage strength is determined according to patient body weight.EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr Auto-Injectors are designed as emergency supportive therapy only. They are not a replacement for subsequent medical or hospital care. After administration, patients should seek medical attention immediately or go to the emergency room. For the next 48 hours, patients must stay within close proximity to a healthcare facility or where they can call 911.
To ensure this product is right for a patient, always read and follow the label. Please consult the Consumer Information leaflet in the product package for complete dosage and administration instructions.