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Emergency Adrenaline for Schools

Emergency Adrenaline for Schools

From the 1st October 2017 schools will now be able to keep adrenaline auto-injectors for emergency use as new legislation was passed last week. Adrenaline auto-injectors give a life-saving dose of adrenaline in the event of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

New legislation was passed in Westminster which allows schools to keep emergency adrenaline auto-injectors in response to a two year campaign. The new legislation allows school staff to administer an emergency auto-injectors to any child who has been assessed as being at risk of anaphylaxis.

A working group, made up of representatives from the Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK, the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology, the British Paediatric Allergy Immunity and Infection Group, and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has campaigned over the last two years for the Government to amend the Human Medicines Act to allow schools to buy adrenaline auto-injectors from pharmaceutical suppliers, without prescription, for use in emergencies.

The campaign gained a huge amount of support from parents and teachers alike. Over 1600 parents and carers, and 800 teachers completed a survey in 2015 to assess supporting the campaign. Over 99% of parents and 96% of teachers supported the proposal and the survey formed a crucial part of the evidence presented to the Department of Health. A public consultation conducted by the Department of Health this year also found overwhelming support for a change in the law to allow schools to hold spare auto-injectors, without a prescription, for use in emergencies.

A joint statement from the five organisations says involved in the campaign have said:

“The rise in food allergy among young people is posing a significant risk for schools who can be faced with a life-threatening situation requiring urgent action. One in five fatal food-allergic reactions in children happen at school. Schools can now purchase the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, without a prescription.  While not compulsory, we hope many schools will take advantage of this change as part of their duty of care to those children who are at risk of anaphylaxis. This is likely to increase awareness and highlight the need for staff to be trained to recognise and treat anaphylaxis in school. The working group is now developing a website which will provide online resources to support school staff.

For a parent of a child at risk from anaphylaxis, this will provide valuable reassurance that their child can receive prompt emergency treatment while on school premises.

We are delighted that our campaign has delivered the result we hoped for.”

This change comes as no surprise following the tragic death of Nasar Ahmed at Bow School after he had an allergic reaction to his school dinner in November 2016 and school staff were unsure if to use his adrenaline auto-injector.

To celebrate this fantastic change in legislation we're offering 25% off our Immediate Management of Anaphylaxis course to any schools, colleges and nurseries for any bookings made before 1st October 2017! Get in touch today if you would like more information!