Ipswich: Liquid nightclub refuses entry to nut allergy sufferer because she carries Epi-pen
PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:28 14 August 2013
A nursery nurse with a severe nut allergy was denied entry to Liquid nightclub in Ipswich because she refused to be parted from her potentially life-saving EpiPen.
Bouncers at the Cardinal Park night spot told Beth Dale she would only be allowed on to the premises if her medication, which is administered via a needle, was kept in a secure office.
But the 21-year-old refused, fearing an allergic reaction could leave her fighting for life while waiting for friends to alert bouncers and locate the EpiPen.
Chris Fugelsang-Jarvis, Beth’s step-dad and endoscopy unit manager in Ravenswood, blasted the decision but welcomed news that Liquid is now reviewing its policies.
The 31-year-old, from Kesgrave, told The Star separating Beth from her medication could have cost his step-daughter her life.
“Beth has a very serious nut allergy,” he said. “It is not just peanuts, it is all nuts. And she doesn’t have to eat one.
“She has to carry an EpiPen of adrenaline with her wherever she goes, not through choice but necessity.
“Being told it would be kept in the office is useless. The EpiPen needs to be used immediately if anaphylaxis starts. There is not time to find a member of staff who will listen, find the keys and administer the injection.
“Nobody can predict what could happen. Even touching or kissing another person who has eaten nuts will trigger her allergic reaction.
“That is why she must have the EpiPen on her at all times. This has never happened before, she has been going to Liquid since she was 18 and she’s never been refused entry with her medication.
“Equally we travel to America a lot to see family and she is always allowed EpiPens on the flight, it is medication not a weapon.
“I work in the medical profession, which is why I am so angry about this situation. I know just how important this medication is – it is a lifesaving drug.
“I accept Liquid are reviewing their policies but this is about raising awareness for other nightclubs and bars.
“Carrying an EpiPen is the same as carrying insulin for diabetics.
“It is a life-saving drug and should never be taken away from the patient. I think doormen and bouncers need clear training on the issue.”
Carl Sautereau, head of customer engagement at The Luminar Group, which owns Liquid, replied to Mr Fugelsang-Jarvis’s letter stating it is “not our intention to put her (Beth) at risk”.
“We have taken on board your comments and with immediate effect will be reviewing this policy so that customers are given the choice of keeping their needles and medication on them at all times or putting them aside in a secure but easily accessible place. We do apologise for the distress this must have caused, although we do hope you can see that we had the best of intentions to safeguard our customers.”