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Schools Can Now Store Lifesaving Adrenaline Injectors

Schools Can Now Store Lifesaving Adrenaline Injectors

New legislation has just been passed that could save the lives of school children across the UK. From October 2017, schools will be allowed to store spare adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) for emergency use.

Back of schoolgirl walking in woods. Image via Unsplash.

Lifesaving new legislation
AAIs deliver a potentially life-saving shot of adrenaline to a person taking a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). This means that if a pupil takes a sudden severe reaction to food, medicine or a bee sting, school staff can deliver a dose of adrenaline right away. This speedy response could save a child’s life (that’s why we’re running a new in-school course on AAI use for teachers. Get in touch and ask us about it).

Up until now, schools have only been only allowed to store auto-injectors for specific pupils with known allergies. This meant that children without prescription AAIs had no immediate access to them. Precious time could often be wasted waiting for emergency services to arrive, sometimes resulting in fatalities.

Rise in allergies in the UK
As one in five deaths from food allergic reactions happen in schools, this is a serious issue. In fact, the UK has one of the world’s highest rates of allergic conditions overall, affecting over 20% of the population. What’s more, this number is on the rise at a staggering rate. From 1992 to 2012, there was a 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the UK, a truly sobering statistic.

Warning signs of anaphylactic shock
Anaphylaxis can take minutes or hour to occur. Signs that a person is experiencing a severe allergic reaction include flushed skin, a rash anywhere on the body, a swollen throat or mouth, a feeling of panic, difficultly in swallowing or speaking, alterations in heart rate, severe asthmatic symptoms, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, a feeling of weakness, a drop in blood pressure, collapse and unconsciousness. It’s important that these symptoms are dealt with as soon as possible, so keeping spare AAIs in schools will make it much easier to do so.

Two-year campaign for adrenaline auto-injectors
The new legislation was passed after a two-year campaign run by various health and medical organisations. The campaign accumulated a huge groundswell of support, gaining approval from over 99% of surveyed parents and 96% of teachers. The legislation means that schools can now buy AAIs from a pharmaceutical supplier without a prescription. Of course, staff will now have to be trained in the proper use of adrenaline auto-injectors. Some schools may choose designated team members for this purpose, but it might also be a smart approach to train every single member of staff in AAI use.

How to buy an adrenaline auto-injector
It won’t be compulsory for schools to store spare AAIs but given their lifesaving nature, many will no doubt opt to do so. In fact, now that this legislation has been passed, many parents will be expecting schools to have AAIs as a matter of course. They’ll also be expecting staff to know how to use them correctly and to be able to spot the signs of anaphylactic shock.

AAI and Anaphylactic training for school staff
In response, we’re now offering training courses for school staff in how to use adrenaline auto-injectors safely. They’ll also be trained to spot the signs of anaphylactic shock. We can deliver the training within your school at a date that suits you. We’re expecting a big response, so don’t waste time in contacting us to book. By preparing today, you could save a child’s life in the future.


You might also like:
Five good reasons to train in First Aid.
Which First Aid Course? Public, Emergency or First Aid at Work?
Asthma – more dangerous than you think.

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