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