The School Access To Emergency Epinephrine

1018 words - 5 pages

Imagine eating in the cafeteria and suddenly becoming short of breath as your throat starts to close up. There are 6 million children living in the world who are at high risk of experiencing this condition (Cianferoni, 2012). This condition is called anaphylaxis caused from an allergen. This can turn into a life-threatening situation. School systems need grants to provide adequate care to these students that experience anaphylaxis to prevent from lethal occurrences. The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is the answer to decrease the risk of these situations. The bill authorizes the Congress to give funding to the schools if they meet the following requirements: maintain an emergency supply of epinephrine, permit trained personnel of the school to administer epinephrine, and develop a plan for ensuring trained personnel are available to administer epinephrine during all hours of the school day (H.R. 2094, 2013). This bill can affect the overall healthcare system by providing a safe environment in the schools for children and providing peace of mind for the families of children with allergies.
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that occurs suddenly and without warning. It is severe and can be deadly if not treated immediately. During anaphylaxis, the airways tighten and cause difficulty breathing, swallowing, wheezing, loss of consciousness and sometimes hives. Anaphylaxis can occur not only from food allergies, but also medications and insect bites (Kim & Fischer, 2011). In children, food allergies are the most common source of anaphylaxis (Kim & Fisher, 2011). Anaphylaxis is treated with a medication called Epinephrine. In Massachusetts, the department of health found that a fourth of the students who needed Epinephrine because of anaphylaxis were not previously diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy (MA Department of Public Health Data Health Brief, 2010). This indicates the importance of a non-patient specific epinephrine to be available for use in the schools. School is the most common place of an accidental ingestion of food allergens. Maintaining a healthy school environment is essential. It is difficult to protect students from all allergens, but it is important to protect those students that are allergic to certain foods to avoid those types of foods (National School Boards Association, 2011). However, banning food allergens is not the answer. Banning foods cause students to become dependent on their environment to protect them from possible food allergens and does not allow them to fend for themselves; this can also give parents false hope and security (“Banning allergens from school,” 2012). School staff must not only be aware, but also prepared to prevent or respond to an anaphylactic reaction to be effective in supporting a student with a life-threatening emergency (NSBA, 2011). Training must be provided at least annually to school personnel that are involved with the student during the school day. Students who are...

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