SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Mohawk Ambulance Service announces its participation in the New York State Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (SEMAC) and the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Systems’ “Check & Inject NY” Pilot Demonstration Program for the replacement of Epinephrine Auto Injectors.
An EpiPen® is the most common type of an emergency auto-injection device used to treat anaphylactic shock and severe allergic reactions. Over the last 12 years, the cost of an EpiPen has risen from $35 to more than $450 per pen. This has resulted in tremendous cost increases for emergency medical service agencies, to stock this potentially life-saving, though infrequently used, device. Mohawk Ambulance Service carries four EpiPens in every ambulance, two in the adult dosage and two in the pediatric dosage at a cost of approximately $1800 per ambulance.
In an effort to reduce this expense while maintaining operational readiness, Mohawk Ambulance Service is participating in New York State’s “Check & Inject NY” demonstration project. The project, which is coordinated through the University of Rochester Medical Center, was launched through the extensive efforts of Dr. Michael Dailey, chief, Division of Prehospital and Operational Medicine and associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical College.
“The ‘Check & Inject NY’ program is modeled on a very successful program implemented in Washington State. Based on their experiences, we expect that in New York our care for potentially ill anaphylaxis, patients with severe allergic reactions, will improve,” said Dr. Dailey. “Cost savings with very strict medical oversight is instrumental in continuing to advance the care for our EMS patients in New York. Mohawk Ambulance Service educators were a key to building this program and we are excited to have them as a partner.”
Through the project, Mohawk Ambulance Service and more than 400 other agencies statewide have purchased Syringe Epinephrine Kits (SEK) which contain a vial of epinephrine and a specially designed syringe with adult and pediatric dose gradations clearly marked. These kits, combined with a training program, will allow ambulance service providers to replace the EpiPens. All Mohawk Ambulance Service EMTs have received additional training to participate in the program.
“We appreciate New York State and the physicians on the SEMAC for recognizing the challenge the cost of EpiPens presented and providing this project to address the issue,” said James P. McPartlon III, president, Mohawk Ambulance Service. “The kit makes it very clear for staff to provide the correct dose of the medication to patients and the training has helped us to easily integrate these devices into our scope of practice.”