Promoted to Backup School Nurse Just Two Months Prior, Woman Saves Teacher Suffering from Anaphylaxis

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Krystal Alexis received special recognition at a Liberty County, Georgia School meeting yesterday for saving her co-worker’s life.

It was lunchtime in seventh-grade life sciences teacher Lauren Parker’s classroom at Hinesville Snelson-Golden Middle School in April. She picks up the story:

One student was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I am severely allergic to peanut butter and peanut products. He was a new student, so he really didn’t know. He wasn’t accustomed to what the other students are accustomed to and knowing my allergies. I sat there for a couple minutes, and I just started to feel my throat close. And my first instinct was why is my throat closing, and why can’t I breathe?

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When Alexis — who had been promoted to backup school nurse just two months earlier — was called to the classroom, she realized Parker was slipping into anaphylactic shock.

She said:

I realized like ok, she literally can’t breathe. I ran up here, got the wheelchair, ran back down, wheeled her back up here.

She then administered an epinephrine auto-injector which stabilized Parker until emergency responders arrived to take over.

Epinephrine is the only drug that can halt and reverse the progression of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction to a food, drug, insect venom, or environmental allergen.

Said Alexis:

We were able to kind of get her heart rate and her breathing normal before EMS came.

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Parker, when asked what was going through her mind when she reacted, answered:

Honestly, I thought I was gonna die. It was so bad. I couldn’t catch my breath, I was wheezing. I thought that was it for me.

You can see the WSAV-TV news report of the incident here:


We are grateful Nurse Alexis’ quick thinking and action saved her colleague from the unthinkable.

We are also grateful that an epinephrine auto-injector was on hand to stabilize Ms Parker before EMS arrived. Had epinephrine not been available, the outcome could have been tragic.

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This brings up two issues worth mentioning.

First, stock epinephrine — i.e. epinephrine that is not prescribed to any one person and can be used for anyone suffering an anaphylactic emergency — should be available in all schools and places of public accommodation nationwide much like automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are.

Second, in cases where food is consumed in close quarters like a classroom, special care should be taken to restrict allergens that can be transferred by airborne means or cross-contact. We can help with our family of Safe Snack Guides used by schools and hospitals throughout the country.


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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of SnackSafely.com.

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