SC EMTs OK’d to use syringes to administer epinephrine

Officials said the rising cost of EpiPens played a factor in allowing EMTs to draw up the drug with syringes

By EMS1 Staff

COLUMBIA, S.C. — EMTs in South Carolina are now legally permitted to administer epinephrine through the use of syringes and vials.

EMTs were previously only able to administer the drug using an auto-injector, such as an EpiPen, reported the Aiken Standard

“The requests came chiefly due to the cost of stocking and restocking the EpiPens for their EMTs and AEMTs to use in anaphylaxis situations,” S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control public information officer Robert Yanity said. 

“The recommended Anaphylaxis Emergency Epinephrine kit costs just under $10 versus $600 or more for a kit of 2 EpiPens. Many rural EMS primary 911 providers and rescue squads cannot afford to stock the EpiPens at $600 a kit, which expire typically within two years. EMS does not get a special price to purchase these devices.”

Although the practice is usually done by paramedics, the rising cost of EpiPens and relatively short shelf-life prompted officials to allow EMTs to draw up epinephrine with syringes. 

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