Spare Pens In Schools
Allergy UK along with the Anaphylaxis Campaign, the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI), the British Paediatric Allergy Immunity and Infection Group (BPAIIG), and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), has campaigned over the last two years for the Government to amend the Human Medicines Act to allow spare pens in schools.
The pens (adrenaline auto-injectors) deliver a potentially life-saving dose of adrenaline in the event of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
The spare pens can be purchased by schools from a pharmaceutical supplier, without prescription, for use in such emergencies. The campaign group have welcomed the new legislation which allows school staff to administer an emergency AAI to any child who has been assessed as being at risk of anaphylaxis.
If someone appears to be having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), you MUST call 999 without delay, even if they have already used their own AAI device, or a spare AAI.
In the event of a possible severe allergic reaction in a pupil who does not meet these criteria, emergency services (999) should be contacted and advice sought from them as to whether administration of the spare emergency AAI is appropriate.
The legislation will come into effect from the 1st October 2017 but for now, information can be found on the campaign website:
Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors
See the below links for the guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools in the UK.
- Department of Health Guidance on the use of AAIs in schools
- Guidance on the use of AAIs in Schools for Wales (English version) (Welsh version)
- Guidance on the use of AAIs in Schools for Northern Ireland
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 at 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."