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Emergency Epipen In Schools

Adrenaline Auto-injectors in schools

New legislation was passed to allow schools in the UK to keep spare adrenaline auto injectors (AAIs) for emergency use. AAI devices deliver a potentially life-saving dose of adrenaline in the event of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

The legislation comes into effect from 1 October 2017.

Previously it was illegal for schools to have a spare adrenaline auto-injector (EpiPen) to use in the event of a potentially life-threatening reaction. Now schools are able to hold spare adrenaline auto injectors if they choose to.

With one in five fatal food-allergic reactions in children happening in schools this will help to reduce a significant risk for schools who can be faced with a life threatening situation which needs urgent action. Schools can now purchase the first line treatment for an anaphylactic reaction, without a prescription.


Do schools have to keep an emergency adrenaline auto injectors (AAIs)?

While not compulsory, we are sure that many schools will take advantage of this change in the next few months. It will be greatly beneficial in the interest of their duty of care for those children who are at risk of anaphylaxis. The change is likely to increase awareness of treating anaphylaxis in school with 96% of teachers who took part in a survey in agreement with schools legally being able to keep an emergency auto-injector.

What does this mean for parents?

For a parent of a child at risk from anaphylaxis this represents an important reassurance that their child will have emergency treatment available on the school premises. Official guidance is yet to be released from the Department for Education but in line with guidance released for the emergency asthma inhaler we expect separate permission will be needed from parents/ carers. We expect the guidance to read similar to the following:

“The emergency auto-injector should only be used by children, for whom written parental consent for use of the emergency auto-injector has been given, who have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis and prescribed an auto-injector.”

Do schools still need to record when an emergency auto-injector is administered?

As per the guidance from Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school you will still need to record:

– What, how and how much was administered
– When and by whom
– Any side effects of the medication to be administered at school should be noted

This fantastic news shows just what organisations can do when they campaign together.

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