Tuesday 25 April 2017

Varadkar to allow public to give life-saving emergency medicines

Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar
Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Life-saving rescue medicines can in future be administered by trained members of the public in emergency situations, Health Minister Leo Varadkar has announced.

He revealed he has signed the necessary legislation allowing these treatments, including glucagon for diabetic hypoglycaemia, epipens for severe allergic reactions and glyceryl trinitrate for severe chest pain, to be given by the public.

The medicines can be kept in stock in schools, sports clubs and other areas frequented by the public, as well as administered by pharmacists.

The decision was welcomed last night by Caroline Sloane, whose daughter Emma (14) died on O'Connell St nearly two years ago after suffering an allergic reaction to peanuts.

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council, which accredits paramedics, will be given the role of accrediting courses for lay people which will be available in coming months.

Mr Varadkar also said that pharmacists can now administer shingles and pneumococcal vaccines. Pneumococcal infection is the most common cause of pneumonia. The move will make the vaccines more accessible to the public and enable them to avoid trips to their GPs.

Irish Independent

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