Singleton Bill Would Permit EMTs to Administer Glucagon, Blood Glucose Tests in Diabetic Emergencies

TRENTON, NJ — Legislation that would enable faster delivery of care for diabetic emergencies has advanced in the New Jersey State Senate.

S-3278, sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton, who represents Bordentown in the Legislature, would allow Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, to administer emergency glucagon and blood glucose tests to patients — which they are currently not permitted to do. 

The bill passed out of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee on Thursday by a unanimous 8-0 vote. 

“EMTs are already trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of diabetic emergencies, but they are not allowed to administer the emergency care that can make a life-saving difference,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Extending permission to administer blood glucose tests and emergency glucagon to EMTs will enable first responders to effectively treat patients without the need to wait for advanced life support services.”

Emergency glucagon is given to a diabetic person when he or she is experiencing severe hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and cannot obtain sugar normally. Emergency glucagon commonly comes in the form of a nasal spray, auto-injectors, or prefilled syringes.

Under Singleton's legislation, the New Jersey Department of Health would establish a certification process for EMTs that would allow them to administer emergency glucagon and blood glucose tests, which would require the first responders to complete an educational course and pass an exam. 

To read the full piece of legislation, CLICK HERE

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