Emergency Adrenaline Auto Injectors (AAIs) (‘EpiPens’)

From 1st October 2017, schools are allowed to buy spare adrenaline auto-injectors for use on children with serious allergies in emergencies, following a change in the law. Until now, AAIs could only be obtained on prescription and this could mean that there was no spare in school if the child forgot. There have been two serious cases over the last year where coroners said that delays in administering adrenaline ‘may have’ contributed to the deaths of children in school.

To reflect this change the Department of Health have issued non-statutory guidance to schools. Schools should ensure that they have an effective protocol for the use of emergency adrenaline auto injectors which includes the following:

  • arrangements for the supply, storage, care, and disposal of spare AAI(s) in line with Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions.
  • a register of pupils who have been prescribed an AAI(s) (or where a doctor has provided a written plan recommending AAI(s) to be used in the event of anaphylaxis).
  • written consent from the pupil’s parent/legal guardian for use of the spare AAI(s), as part of a pupil’s individual healthcare plan.
  • ensuring that any spare AAI is used only in pupils where both medical authorisation and written parental consent have been provided.
  • appropriate support and training for staff in the use of the AAI in line with the schools wider policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions.
  • keeping a record of use of any AAI(s), as required by Supporting Pupils and informing parents or carers that their pupil has been administered an AAI and whether this was the school’s spare AAI or the pupil’s own device.

Download the guidance: Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools

Further Information about Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis

Statutory Document: Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school

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