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December 15, 1989

The Prevention of Deaths From Reactions to Insect Venoms

JAMA. 1989;262(23):3269. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430230041013

To the Editor.—  I read the article "Epidemiology of Insect Venom Sensitivity."1As a lone crusader, I have worked diligently for legislation in each of our 50 states to deal with training and licensing of laypersons such as teachers and law enforcement officers (anyone dealing with the public) to be able to carry and administer epinephrine in emergency situations, when a physician is not immediately available. The time span in cases of anaphylactic reaction is often the difference between life and death, and death could occur within as little as 5 minutes. I have lobbied for the proper laws to be passed so that when emergencies arise, from either a reaction to an insect sting or additives in food, beverages, or drugs, we might be able to circumvent an unnecessary death by having trained laypersons administer treatment immediately, without having to wait for a licensed physician to arrive.I