Mother wants EMS to be able to administer daughter’s medicine

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan.-- An Overland Park mother contacted FOX 4 with concerns that emergency medical personnel don't have an injection her daughter would need in an emergency, and they can't even administer the drug if the girl has her own supply on her.

Eden Lord's daughter, four-year-old Cambria Lord, has a condition in which her body doesn't produce certain hormones, including cortisol, the stress hormone. Cambria takes hydrocortisone pills daily for that, but if she has any type of stressful situation -- any type of medical emergency -- she needs a shot.

"It's 30 minutes between life and death for her if she's in any kind of accident," said Eden Lord.

The family keeps the medicine at home, at school and in their vehicles. That's similar to those who have EpiPens for allergic reactions. But unlike EpiPens, emergency medical personnel don't carry the hydrocortisone shot, and they can't inject Cambria with her own medicine.

"The downside is if the EMT would get there and I would be unable to administer the shot, if I were incapacitated in a car accident, they can't administer it," said Lord.

Only a handful of states allow it, and Lord believes that should change. She says she didn't make progress with EMS agencies she contacted, so she started an online petition.

FOX 4 News called the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services, and the executive director, Steve Sutton, says if Lord makes a written request, he will take it to the board's medical advisory council for consideration. It's progress that the mom has been hoping for.

"We do worry as she gets older and even when she becomes a driver herself -- who's going to be there? And we want to know EMS is going to be readily available to administer that shot to her," said Lord.

Sutton says at the mom's request, the council could also consider whether all ambulances in the state should carry the shot. But he adds there can be problems with medicine getting too hot or too cold. Eden Lord says the vial of hydrocortisone costs less than $7 and the normal shelf life is five years.

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16 comments

  • Jeffrey F

    How about if PD holds the medications and can PD be trained to administer the shot as well as retrieve the medication and deliver it to the location needed. PD are not tied to EMS protocol limitations. Also, if the EMS agency has a medical director, it is posible for the medical director to extend the protocol in this instance to cover administration to this particular patient…..I’m not a lawyer, but the idea of medical direction by a MD is for special cases or extending protocol in emergencies of life and death

  • angela

    I have a son who will be 21 next wednesday. He has CAH which requires a shot of cortisone for stress or accidents also. He is away at college. It is very scary to let them go. This would be very helpful if they could get this to pass

  • Suzi McMullen

    It should be put in a pen like the epi so that the person can give it to themselves before they go into shock. I know it doesn’t take care of serious accidents where they lose consciousnesses. But it’s at least easier than a shot I would think.

  • Betsy S.

    I have had Addison’s disease for 20 years and am also worried about this issue. Worried that medical personnel at hospitals don’t always know what to do for Addison patients. It is very scary. I live in Topeka KS

  • Brian Barhorst

    I’m a Medical Director in Ohio, and I am not read up on Kansas law, but in Ohio, the protocol is developed and approved by the Medical Director (an Emergency Medicine Physician, or a non Emergency Medicine physician with a waiver). I would suggest contacting the Medical Director for your local service. Attempt to at least come to an agreement that allows you to give the hydrocortisone yourself in an emergency (again, I don’t know if Kansas State Law allows this). If the service carries Solu-Medrol for asthmatics and COPD patients, this can also be used for Addisonian crises with the proper training and protocol in place. Having PD carry and give the medication is outside of their scope of training, just as having EMS arrest fugitives is against theirs. Your State Representative or State EMS Board is also a good place to stop by and make your concerns known. Tennessee has an adrenal insufficiency page in their State Protocols available online. http://health.state.tn.us/ems/PDF/EMS_Adrenal_Insufficiency_Protocol_Guideline.pdf

    • lesley

      I wouldn’t have thought its a problem for the mother/father to administer it .. I think the issue is when the parents are not with the daughter or they are incapacitated when an emergency incident happens.

  • Sarah Atkins Mascorro

    Both my boys have Addisons disease too and we carry it with us everywhere too. I think its time we get together and MAKE them (EMS) carry it. Im afraid of what if me or my hubby isnt there my boys carry it on them but if they cant give it to themselves ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Is there a way to keep up with you and see whats going on?? I run an addisons/adrenal insufficiency group on facebook called Addisons Disease Adrenal Insufficiency One Day At A Time. Good luck hun
    Sarah Mascorro