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Immunity for Administration of Epinephrine

posted on Wed, Mar 30 2016 5:35 pm by Network for Public Health Law

Epinephrine auto-injectors, also known as adrenaline, are often sold under the brand name EpiPen. It is used to treat a number of conditions, including anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). A requestor recently asked the Network if the state of Illinois provides immunity for those who administer epinephrine in emergency situations.

The Network researched the issue and determined that Illinois does not provide a specific statutory immunity for the administration of epinephrine. However, Illinois law does include more general language to cover immunity from civil liability to personnel that are certified, licensed or authorized by law to provide emergency medical services.

Specifically, under the Emergency Medical Services Act (210 ILCS 50/3.150):

Any person… who in good faith provides emergency or non-emergency medical services… in the normal course of conducting their duties, or in an emergency, shall not be civilly liable as a result of their acts or omissions in providing such services unless such acts or omissions, including the bypassing of nearby hospitals or medical facilities in accordance with the protocols developed pursuant to this Act, constitute willful and wanton misconduct.

In addition, the Good Samaritan Act (745 ILCS 49/67) protects certified first aid providers:

Any person who is currently certified in first aid by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or the National Safety Council and who in good faith provides first aid without fee to any person shall not, as a result of his or her acts or omissions, except willful and wanton misconduct on the part of the person in providing the aid, be liable to a person to whom such aid is provided for civil damages.

Administration of epinephrine is included in American Heart Association and American Red Cross first aid training.