First the good news: If there was any doubt, life-saving epinephrine is being administered in schools when students experience severe allergic reactions. The bad news? One sixth of the time it was administered by an unlicensed staff member or students.
A study presented Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 National Conference & Exhibition looked at over 1200 electronic surveys completed by school nurses during the 2014-2015 school year, of which one third (34%) of respondent nurses reported being responsible for covering more than one building.
- One in six (16.2%) were administered by unlicensed staff or students;
- One third of the administrations (33.6%) were to students that did not have an allergy known to the school;
- Nearly one in nine students (10.8%) required multiple doses of epinephrine before emergency responders arrived.
“The findings highlight the importance of having a supply of epinephrine available in schools, and people trained to administer it during an allergy emergency,” said Dr Michael Pistiner, author of the abstract and Director of Food Allergy Advocacy, Education and Prevention at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.
- Study highlights need for epinephrine in schools — and staff trained to administer it – American Academy of Pediatrics Press Release
- National School Nurse Survey of Epinephrine Use in Schools – Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology