New legislation on emergency adrenaline autoinjectors (Epipens, Jext and Emerade) in schools
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Allergy UK are delighted to announce the advent of new legislation that will be in force from the 1st October 2017 to enable emergency adrenaline auto-injectors to be available in schools (similar to the arrangement in place for asthma inhalers). They are also producing a new website for parents, pupils and school staff to explain how they should move forward to be compliant with the new arrangements. We will produce a more detailed update once further information is available as to how this will be delivered and managed, the scope of the arrangement and implications for schools.
The new auto-injectors can only be given to children who have been prescribed an auto-injector and theirs is not available, out of date, faulty… or they require an additional dose following the administration of their own auto-injector. This new legislation allows school staff to administer an emergency AAI to any child who has been assessed as being at risk of anaphylaxis. The legislation is not compulsory for schools.
The new legislation allows schools in the UK to buy auto-injectors from pharmacies without a prescription and to keep these as spare adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) for emergency use. AAIs deliver a potentially life-saving dose of adrenaline in the event of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Over 1600 parents/carers and 800 teachers completed a survey in 2015 to assess backing for the campaign: over 99% of parents and 96% of teachers supported the proposal. 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 AAIs, without a prescription, for use in emergencies.
A joint statement from the five organisations who campaigned for this change in the law states:
“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”
To read the full statement please click here