Should EpiPens be available in public eateries? Live chat Thursday

Dr. Susan Waserman, Hamilton physician and McMaster University professor, helped initaitite a pilot project to get EpiPens into local eating establishments. She joins CBC Hamilton Thursday at noon for a live audio chat.
Hamilton will partner with McMaster University to put epi-pens in a food court, as a pilot project that is the first step toward having them in all restaurants in the city.

Imagine living with an incurable disease, having to avoid triggers that are everywhere. That’s what life is like for Lynne Glover, the mother of a six-year-old with numerous, severe food allergies.

“Elodie’s allergies are so severe she doesn’t get to go to parties or to friend’s houses,” Glover said of her daughter. “She can’t. There are things airborne. She doesn’t have that luxury.”  

Using an epinephrine autoinjector, like an EpiPen, can be a matter of life or death for Elodie. Now, the city of Hamilton has approved a pilot project to place an auto-injector in a local food court.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports approximately 2.5 million Canadians self-report having at least one food allergy, and the highest incidence is in children under the age of 3.

About 2 in 100 children suffer from peanut allergies, the most common allergen, according to Anaphylaxis Canada.    

Other top allergies are tree nuts, seafoods, egg, milk, sesame, soy, wheat and mustard.

Join CBC Hamilton and Dr. Susan Waserman, physician at Hamilton Health Sciences and professor of medicine at McMaster University, for a live audio chat Thursday at noon about Hamilton city council’s decision to begin the auto-injector pilot project, the benefits and the costs. Listen in and ask questions or make comments during the live chat.

To ask Dr. Waserman a question or submit a comment, join us online at cbc.ca/hamilton Thursday at noon to join the text chat or send us a message ahead of time to hamilton@cbc.ca or on Twitter @CBCHamilton.

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