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Epipen/Anapen

*** Please see News section for updates on Epipen shortages.***

Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools

From 1 October 2017, schools in England have been allowed to purchase adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices without a prescription, for emergency use on children who are at risk of anaphylaxis but whose own device is not available or not working.

This guidance will help schools that choose to keep an emergency AAI create a policy for using it.

Guidelines for the Administration of Epipen/Anapen by Staff

Anaphylaxis is an acute, severe allergic reaction requiring immediate medical attention. It usually occurs within seconds or minutes of exposure to certain foods or other substances, but may happen after a few hours.

An Epipen/Anapen can only be administered by staff who have volunteered and have been designated as appropriate by the head teacher/setting lead or manager and who has been trained by the appropriate health professional. Training of designated staff will be provided by the appropriate health professional and a record of training undertaken will be kept by the head teacher/setting lead or manager. Training will be updated at least once a year.

An Epipen/Anapen is a preloaded pen device, which contains a single measured dose of adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) for administration in cases of severe allergic reaction. An Epipen/Anapen is safe, and even if given inadvertently it will not do any harm. It is not possible to give too large a dose from one device used correctly in accordance with the care plan. The Epipen/Anapen should only be used for the person for whom it is prescribed.

  1. Where an Epipen/Anapen may be required there should be an individual care plan and consent form, in place for each child. These should be readily available. They will be completed before the training session in conjunction with parent/carer, school/setting staff and doctor/nurse.
  2. The Epipen/Anapen should be readily accessible for use in an emergency and where pupils are of an appropriate age the Epipen/Anapen can be carried on their person. It should be stored at room temperature, protected from heat and light and be kept in the original named box
  3. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the Epipen/Anapen is in date. Schools have a statutory duty to keep children safe. As such, they may put systems in place whereby expiry dates and discolouration of contents are checked termly. Parents are ultimately responsible for replacing medication as necessary.
  4. The use of the Epipen/Anapen must be recorded on the pupil’s care plan, with time, date and full signature of the person who administered the Epipen/Anapen.
  5. Immediately after the Epipen/Anapen is administered, a 999 ambulance call must be made and then parent’s notified. If two adults are present, the 999 call should be made at the same time of administering the Epipen/Anapen. The used Epipen/Anapen must be given to the ambulance personnel.
  6. It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to renew the Epipen/Anapen before the child returns to school.
  7. The Epipen/Anapen must be taken if the child leaves the school site. The child must be accompanied by an adult, who has been trained to administer the Epipen/Anapen.

Free online anaphylaxis training

AllergyWise for Schools is a FREE online anaphylaxis training course from the Anaphylaxis Campaign, designed to ensure that key staff in schools are fully aware of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, how to provide emergency treatment and the implications for management of severely allergic children from Key Stages 1 to 5 in an education setting.

More information about the training course can be found here: https://allergywise.org.uk/

Free Posters about anaphylaxis: https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/information-training/our-posters/

Allergy guidance for schools – DfE