New legislation has been passed in Westminster earlier this month to allow schools in the UK to keep 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).
The legislation (which is not compulsory) which comes into effect from 1 October 2017, allows spare adrenaline to be kept for children who have been prescribed an auto injector, but theirs is not available, is out of date, faulty, or they require an additional dose following the administration of their own.
A working group, made up of representatives from Anaphylaxis Campaign, Allergy UK, British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI), British Paediatric Allergy Immunity and Infection Group (BPAIIG), and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), has campaigned over the last two years for the Government to make these changes to he Human Medicines Act to allow schools to buy AAIs from a pharmaceutical supplier, without prescription, for use in emergencies.
A joint statement from the five organisations says
“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 a 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.”
This is great progress and here at ECG we are delighted about this implementation. If you have any training needs regarding anaphylaxis, please get in touch.
Written by Sophie McCracken Clinical Advisor 19th July 2017