Top Senate Democrats Demand FAA Require Airlines Carry Epinephrine Auto-Injectors


In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), three top Senate Democrats are demanding airlines maintain stock epinephrine auto-injectors aboard flights.

The letter, signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and Ed Markey, insists there is a “glaring gap” in current requirements for emergency medical kits required onboard flights that “puts airline passengers at risk.”

Epinephrine is the only drug that can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening reaction to a food, drug, insect venom, or environmental substance. Current FAA standards last updated in 2004 only require epinephrine to be carried in vials with syringes, making them unusable by individuals without medical training.

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Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) on its website:

Most Americans do not know how to determine the proper dose of epinephrine to administer from a vial to treat an anaphylactic food allergy reaction, nor do they know how to safely and properly do so without an autoinjector.

In the letter, the senators warned the FAA it needs to update requirements for airlines. They write:

We urge you to amend the current standing regulation to require that epinephrine auto-injectors be included in the emergency medical kit of every flight, as well as engage in regular review of medical kit requirements

The FAA responded yesterday it is reviewing current in-flight medical kit requirements and will respond directly to the senators.

Click to visit sponsor has reported on numerous incidents regarding anaphylaxis aboard airliners, including that of Dr Lindsey Ulin, a resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who was flying from Phoenix to Austin on Southwest when she realized she was starting to feel the telltale signs of an anaphylactic reaction for the first time.

She called a fight attendant to help, but the medical kit she retrieved provided no instructions or indication of the proper dose to administer. Luckily, another physician from Texas aboard the flight was able to draw and administer enough of the drug to stabilize her for the rest of the flight.

According to FARE, an estimated 33 million Americans have food allergies with allergic reactions sending someone to the ER every three minutes.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that medical emergencies occur an average of once every 604 flights with allergic reactions accounting for 1.6% of those.

You can read the letter in its entirety here:

Click to read letter to FAA
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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

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