HealthDay News — In the school setting, epinephrine injection training for individuals other than nurses may be beneficial, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held from September 16 to 19 in Chicago.

Michael Pistiner, MD, from MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, and colleagues surveyed school nurses to examine current practices in schools relating to epinephrine administration and management of anaphylaxis. A total of 1285 school nurses completed all survey questions.

The researchers found that 41.4% of respondents reported ever having administered epinephrine. Fifteen percent of participants reported that at least 1 dose of epinephrine was administered in their school by anyone, themselves included, in 2015 to 2016, compared with 24% in 2014 to 2015. Overall, 2.7% reported that epinephrine was administered by unlicensed staff in 2015 to 2016 (4.3% in 2014 to 2015). 

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Administration of epinephrine by a licensed school nurse to someone without a known prior allergy was reported by 4.8%; in .98%, unlicensed staff administered epinephrine to someone without known allergy. More than 1 dose of epinephrine was needed for a single event of anaphylaxis before emergency medical services arrival in 1.7% of reports.

“These findings highlight the importance of having a supply of epinephrine available in schools, and people trained to administer it during an emergency,” Pistiner said in a statement.

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Study highlights need for epinephrine in schools and staff trained to administer it [press release]. American Academy of Pediatrics. Updated September 15, 2017. Accessed September 25, 2017.