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Allergy smarts can save your life, be smart! Linda Pinizzotto chats with Debbie Bruce

Click on the link below to listen to the Linda Pinizzotto eXpert Radio Show interview with Debbie Bruce


EpiPens on fire trucks have saved four lives, so far

By  Chris Clay from the Mississauga News

MISSISSAUGA — In less than a year, a program that put EpiPens  on all front-line Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services trucks has been directly responsible for saving four lives.

Trevor Shea, a training officer with Mississauga’s fire service, said the EpiPens have been on all 30 front-line fire trucks since May.

EpiPens are used to administer epinephrine to someone suffering an extreme allergic reaction. In some cases, the reaction can be fatal and the injection can open the person’s airways long enough to make it to hospital for emergency treatment.

Shea said there are four examples where, if the trucks didn’t have the devices, people would have died.

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Mississauga woman’s advocacy makes Blue Jays games unforgettable for families

By  Radhika Panjwani from the Mississauga News

MISSISSAUGA— It all began with a Mississauga mother’s quest to help her sons experience the excitement and fun of cheering their home team in an arena without having to worry about a fatal allergy attack.

Now, three years later, Debbie Bruce, co-director, Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative Mississauga Anaphylaxis Group (MAG) education and advocacy, can look back at her accomplishment with pride.

On Sunday, June 29, four local MPs — Minister for Sports Bal Gosal (Bramalea-Gore-Malton), Brad Butt (Mississauga-Streetsville) and Stella Ambler (Mississauga South) and Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale)— will be joining Bruce and other families  in the peanut/nut reduced section of the Roger Centre for a Blue Jays game.

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Plan to put EpiPens in Hamilton eateries will launch in August 2014

By Samantha Craggs, CBC News Posted: Aug 04, 2014 6:30 AM ET

After months of legal negotiations that were trickier than expected, Hamilton is about to launch its first test site in a plan to put epinephrine auto injectors in every food court and restaurant in the city.

By the end of August, public health officials hope to hold an official launch at Jackson Square, where they will test a plan to arm security guards with auto injectors, often referred to by the brand name EpiPen.

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Toronto Blue Jays – Peanut/Nut-Reduced Zone 2014 Game Dates Announced

The Toronto Blue Jays™ are pleased to continue offering a peanut/nut-reduced seating area at certain games in 2014. On six different game dates during the 2014 season, we will be offering a limited number of seats in a designated peanut/nut-reduced seating area at Rogers Centre™ (the “Peanut/Nut-Reduced Zone“).

Peanuts and nuts will not be allowed in a reserved area for these six games. Tickets for seating in the Peanut/Nut-Reduced Zone are reserved for individuals with peanut and nut allergies and their families only. The Toronto Blue Jays reserve the right to request a doctor’s note.

All persons who will be seated in the Peanut/Nut-Reduced Zone will be required to sign a waiver before entering Rogers Centre (persons under the age of eighteen must have the waiver signed by their parent or other legal guardian).

For more information please visit: Peanut/Nut-Reduced Blue Jay Schedule

Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services Marks Success with its EpiPens Program

May 08, 2014

Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) is celebrating the first anniversary of its EpiPen Program. Approved last spring by City Council, the program ensures EpiPens are on all fire trucks in Mississauga.

 “As firefighters, our priority is to protect life. Having the EpiPen Program in place is crucial for us when we’re first on the scene responding to a severe allergic reaction,” said Mississauga Fire Chief, John McDougall. “Over the past year, we’ve seen first-hand how EpiPens can buy time until a person suffering from a severe allergic reaction can be transported to the hospital.”

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Circulate the Petition on Reducing the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers

Circulate the Petition on Reducing the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers

Contact your MP now. In the weeks and months ahead, you connecting with your federally elected representative is the single, most important thing you can do to help support these efforts, on behalf of all Canadian families living with severe allergies. Now is the perfect time to contact your MP in your community! Write. E-mail. Phone. Visit. If you can, briefly tell them your story and concerns at a MP’s BBQ or public event, or at their office. MPs are always interested to know what’s important to their constituents. Take every opportunity to:

  • Tell them how important the Anaphylaxis Awareness Motion 230 is to your family. (print off and share the press releases with them)
  • Talk about some of your challenges in trying to keep your loved ones safe.
  • Ask if you can count on their support – and promise to be back in touch with news as it happens (you can forward news and background information as CAI posts new material).

Your actions are very important and will determine our ultimate success. Why? Each community’s voice needs to be heard in Parliament. MPs are often in their constituency offices meeting with local residents, as they want to help and learn what’s important to their constituents. If they hear first-hand the issues faced by allergic individuals and their families, it will help them better understand and put a face to the importance of this issue, and the need to act responsibly now. The more families they hear from – the better understanding MPs will have of how prevalent anaphylaxis is. . So, when this matter is debated in Parliament, they will be supportive. Please remember! Send us an update to let us know your MP’s response! E-mail us at You can learn more about this awareness initiative:

To find out more about your MP, visit the official federal Parliament website. Don’t know your MP? Go here and enter your postal code in the middle column.

Proposed Allergy Protocol for Airlines

Risk Reduction Policy for Anaphylactic Passengers

Two Step Policy – To be implemented as soon as possible.

Step 1)

  • Suspend serving and selling peanuts/nuts/sesame snaps when an allergic person makes the request.
  • Announcement made at departure gate and on board, requesting passengers do not open or consume any peanuts/nuts during this flight.  Passengers would not be asked to refrain from eating products labeled only as ‘may contain’ peanuts or nuts.
  • The epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) carried by the anaphylactic passenger (or caregiver), with the pharmacy sticker or a doctor’s note is sufficient medical identification.
  • Allow pre-board in order to speak with In-Charge Flight Attendant and to wipe down seat area.
  • Require flight crew to be trained and authorized to administer an epinephrine auto injector.
  • Add an ‘Allergy Notification’ on the Passenger Information List (PIL) to alert staff to expect the allergic passenger.
  • Flight Booking Notice: “Please be prepared for possible food restrictions on your flight – in support of our anaphylactic passengers.”

Step 2)

  • For passengers allergic to foods other than peanuts/nuts, with 48 hours’ notice, the airline will make every effort to come to an agreeable arrangement.

Steps 1) & 2)

  • Flight crew will be trained never to refuse boarding to a passenger solely on the basis of that person’s food allergy and anaphylaxis risk.

Take Action – Circulate the Petition on Reducing the Risk for Anaphylactic Passengers

The Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) is a network of Canadian families committed to raising awareness of anaphylaxis on Parliament Hill and with federal government officials.             

Lizon Pleased To Announce Improved Communications Tools For Food Safety

(MISSISSAUGA ON) This morning Wladyslaw Lizon, MP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, was pleased to announce the Harper government’s work to provide improved communications tools to help consumers with essential, real-time and easy-to-understand information about food safety and food recalls.

“Our government is committed to improving the awareness of what Canadians purchase and consume,” said Lizon. “Parents want to know that the food they provide to their families is healthy and safe to eat.”

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Food allergy advocates call for drug injectors in restaurants

Advocates for those with food allergies are urging more cities to follow the lead of Hamilton, Ont., which could become the first city in the world to require all food service outlets to have life-saving medication on hand for people with severe food allergies.

Food allergies can lead to severe reactions called anaphylaxis, which causes a dangerous drop in blood pressure and swelling of the throat and tongue. It untreated, the condition can quickly lead to death.

To stop the reaction, allergy sufferers need the quick administration of epinephrine — also known as adrenaline -through an epinephrine injector, often called EpiPens, to helps relax bronchial muscles and buy them time as they wait for emergency medical care. Read more