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EpiPens should be required on all flights, Warren and Markey tell FAA

Senate Democrats push to get EpiPens put on planes
Senate Democrats push to get EpiPens put on planes 00:24

WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to require EpiPens on flights.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to the FAA calling for the lifesaving epinephrine auto-injectors to be available in every airplane's emergency medical kit.

The device, commonly known as an EpiPen made by Mylan, is used to treat severe allergic reactions and does not need to be administered by a medical professional.

The senators say the FAA has previously required flights to carry doses of epinephrine, but they would need to be measured out and injected with a syringe by someone with expertise.

"The glaring gap in FAA's regulations disregards the widely-accepted guidance by medical professionals who stress the importance of epinephrine auto-injectors in treating anaphylaxis, and puts airline passengers at risk," the senators write.

The letter to the FAA cites a CBS News story from 2018, in which a New York 10-year-old suffered a severe allergic reactions to nuts on a flight home to Aruba. The airline did not stock any EpiPens, but fortunately others on the flight did. 

"We had a nurse on board. We were lucky that we had two passengers that had EpiPens. What are the odds of that?" the boy's mother said. 

According to the letter, some airlines have decided to carry EpiPens on flights, but there's nothing to stop them from changing their mind. Last year, CBS News reached out to major airlines about their onboard emergency medical kits. 

The senators are asking the FAA to brief them on the issue within 30 days. 

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