Leah Gallo holds a necklace with a photo of her daughter Maia. Maia's allergy death at a Burlington mall last year inspired a pilot project that sees mall security guards carry life-saving injectors.
Photo Credit: Samantha Craggs/CBC

Some mall guards to carry life-saving injectors

The city of Hamilton, Ontario wants to be at the “epicenter of addressing food allergies” and has launched a new program that will involve guards in a city centre mall carrying EpiPens.  These injectors are used to save the lives of people suffering anaphylaxis—a life-threatening allergic reaction.

The goal is to have EpiPens available in 1,500 restaurants in Hamilton and to encourage their use world-wide.

Maia Santarelli-Gallo died in 2013 when she collapsed from a food allergy in a mall food court in the province of Ontario. © Gallo Family

Girl’s death prompted action

It was the death of 12-year old Maia Santarelli-Gallo in 2013 that raised increased awareness of deadly food allergies in the province of Ontario and prompted this initiative.

Awareness of anaphylaxis has been growing in Canada and many schools have protocols to store the injectors and guide people in their use. The province of Ontario passed a law in 2005 requiring all publicly funded schools to have an anaphylaxis action plan.

About 2.5 million Canadians report they have at least one food allergy. The allergies may vary in severity.

Categories: Health, Society

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