Va. lawmakers want restaurants to stock emergency epinephrine

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jan 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-10 21:58:57-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Virginia lawmakers are working on a bill that would require restaurants to keep epinephrine injectors on hand.

Delegate John O'Bannon, the key sponsor for House Bill 352, said if the measure is approved in the General Assembly, training for restaurant workers would be required  so workers would be able to administer the medicine if needed.

News of the bill comforts Kia Symonds, who suffered a near fatal allergic reaction while dining out at an area restaurant a few years ago.

"I felt like I couldn't breathe. My tongue swelled up, my throat was closing up. I had welts on my cheek area and my lips were swelling," Symonds explained.  "It was so scary. I thought about my kids."

Symonds said after workers called 911, emergency crews injected her with epinephrine and she started to feel better.

Symonds experience is the types of scenario O'Bannon is hoping to address.

Symonds hopes her story will resonate with lawmakers and that the measure will gain bipartisan support. She believes the bill will save lives.