When someone has a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, fast treatment with epinephrine is the first line of care. But the first time a person has anaphylaxis, they may not have epinephrine yet. When anaphylaxis is not treated right away, it may cause serious complications (related health issues). It may also be life-threatening.
One solution to this issue is to legally allow trained people to carry and give epinephrine in an emergency. This might be possible through Dillon’s Law.
Dillon's Law is a bipartisan bill that offers incentives to states if they allow trained people to carry and give epinephrine in an emergency. It also requires that these people be protected from civil liability for giving someone epinephrine.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) – AAFA’s food allergy division – are seeking your help in expanding access to epinephrine across the country. You can ask your congressperson to support Dillon’s Law (H.R. 3910). Dillon's Law is named after Dillon Mueller. He was a teenage boy whose life was tragically cut short due to a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting. Dillon had never had such a reaction before and did not have a prescription for epinephrine. This bill honors his memory and aims to prevent similar tragedies.
Understanding Epinephrine and Anaphylaxis
Epinephrine is a lifesaving medicine used to treat anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be triggered by allergies to food, insects, medicines, and latex. It comes in easy-to-use devices, such as auto-injectors. Nearly one in 50 people in the U.S. are at risk for anaphylaxis. It can occur suddenly and get worse fast. It’s important to give epinephrine right away.
The Need for Access to Epinephrine
People at risk for anaphylaxis should carry epinephrine with them at all times. But this does not account for first-time reactions or situations where a person is not aware of their allergies. Dillon’s Law points out the need for any trained person to have access to epinephrine so they can respond to unexpected allergic reactions.
How Dillon’s Law Works
Dillon’s Law offers incentives to states to expand access to epinephrine. They do this by giving these states priority when handing out federal funds for preventive health services. The bill also ensures these trained people have protection from criminal or civil charges if something happens to the person treated with epinephrine. This would encourage more people to step forward and help during emergencies.
AAFA Advocacy in Action
On October 25, 2023, Angel and George Mueller (Dillon’s parents) of Mishicot, Wisconsin, traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for Dillon’s Law. AAFA President and CEO Kenneth Mendez and AAFA Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy Jenna Riemenschneider joined the Muellers on Capitol Hill to meet with key congressional offices. Read AAFA’s press release about the day.
Take Action: Contact Congress
Now that you understand why Dillon’s Law is important, it’s time to take action. You can use our simple tool below to contact your congressperson and ask for their support of Dillon’s Law.