1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Does any school have their own Adrenaline Injectors?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Medallic, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    Hi, Just wondering if any schools have obtained their own Adrenaline Injectors for emergency use in anaphylaxis?
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Doubt there’d be many -although a few might have a school nurse.
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Children who are at risk bring theirs to school and leave it there permanently.
    nomad likes this.
  4. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Star commenter

    epipens? Students have their own
    nomad likes this.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    Susceptible pupils and staff will have their own together with a spare for each person kept in the medical room.
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    It is now possible to have a spare epipen bought for the school. This changed a few years back. Known cases would always have their own prescribed pens available.
  7. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    I understand pupils/staff bring their own but would you not consider obtaining one or several for the school to keep as a backup.

    Anaphylaxis is time-critical, If it takes 5 mins to get to the Epipen and back then that's 5 min too late. Plus the dozen of other potential failures: expired device, pen fails, a repeat dose is required, pupil hasn't obtained from the GP yet etc.

    Would you consider obtaining an Adrenaline pen?
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Schools can, and should imo, have their own as well. See here for how and why.

    We have two spares.
    Each child and member of staff who needs one obviously has their own, but a spare in case one doesn't work or is out of date or some such is a very good idea.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Star commenter

    well, how could a teacher decide to give a medication that is prescription only to someone it hasn't been prescribed for?

    We are not qualified to take that decision.

    The only time might be under the guidance of a 999 operator, in the course of an emergency.

    But even then, if you give it in the wrong way, or in the wrong circumstances, you could make a very bad situation worse.
  10. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    The schools own Adrenaline pen would normally be administered to pupils who have a confirmed risk of anaphylaxis.

    Yes, the only time it could be used in someone else would be on the advice of the 999 operator. Which I think is a good thing because it may well be a first for some pupils and if it happens at schools then at least there is an option to give the adrenaline pen.

    You are right it is a prescription only medicine but the whole point is a school can hold their own pen under the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2017 without a prescription.

    in the case of giving it wrong then you have acted according to the 999 adviser and won't be held liable for a wrong decision, although I think that is unlikely.

    "Symptoms of an accidental injection are not usually so severe and may include:

    • temporary numbness or tingling
    • pain and swelling at the injection site
    • elevated heart rate and/or heart palpations"
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I can't really see what your concern is.

    To repeat, all pupils and staff who are susceptible have their own EpiPens (AAIs) with them. Some of the pupils carry them on a lanyard with them. In addition, the school has a spare for each person who may need it, plus a couple of extra. All staff undergo regular training in administering the injection. Pens reaching their expiry date are replaced. Records are kept.

    Head teachers know what they are doing!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    I see the concern if a teacher feels inadequately trained or if the school policy isn’t clear. The NEU offers this advice and more - :

    ‘Schools should ensure that their school medicines policy gives details of who is appropriately trained, and how they can be contacted. It is important that there is somebody available at all times with the training to administer such medication, as in such circumstances speed of response is of the essence. It is advisable to have several people trained in this way, to ensure that cover is available in the event of staff absence. This would be even more important in a large or split site school, where a trained member of staff would need to be able to intervene without precious minutes being lost in getting from one part of the school to another.’
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    Theres alot to consider when you look into it further. Has anyone had any incidents of anaphylaxis?

    I had several concerns:

    1) Can you rely on the pupil to be carrying their own pen at all times. If they are not then can the spare in the medical room be obtained in time i.e what if it takes 2.5min there and then 2.5min back, 5 min could be too late. Hence is there a need for schools to obtain their own pens place within easy access for each area of the school.

    2) Are pupil's own pens in date, if expiring, are you relying on the pupil/parents to obtain one from their GP. There's room for error, will that be avoided with schools having their own pens?

    3) If you have 'spare pens', are these which pupils have brought in because each pen can only be used to whom it was prescribed hence if schools have their own, they can be administered to anyone with anaphylaxis risk

    4) Then there's the MHRA recalls for faulty devices, there's been several this year for the adrenaline pens, are schools aware of this and managing it accordingly, what if you have a potentially faulty device on site and it fails when it's required

    5) Are sufficient staff trained and comfortable with administering the pen, do they need practice with trainer pens?

    6) Is there a robust policy in place?

    Its an emergency situation, just like fire. Alot of fine attention is given to fire processes. I think schools need to take further responsibility with anaphylaxis. Maybe even trial a test anaphylaxis and see how the process runs.

    I would say schools holding their own pens in designated areas, several staff trained in each schools department and a thorough policy which includes monitoring and tests. Open to your opinions.
  14. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Star commenter


    just no.

    schools do not prescribe medication. Doctors do.

    you cannot choose to hold dangerous medication and choose who to give it to. You will kill someone.

    Children are given the medication prescribed for them personally.

    As to whether there are enough people happy to administer it, no one has to be trained unless they want to be. If there aren't enough, that isn't the responsibility of the staff.
  15. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    I think you're missing the point. Medication (the adrenaline pen) is already prescribed by the GP, but it's administration is under the care of the school when the pupil is at school.

    The only decision the schools takes is WHEN to give.

    If a school doesn't have a thorough process then potentially you could risk a pupil's life. If that does happen fingers will be pointed at the school not the GP.

    Yes staff can refuse to give the adrenaline pen but there still should be sufficient staff trained. Lack of trained staff won't look very good when a school falls under scrutiny for an unfortunate event.
  16. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Star commenter

    I really don't understand what you are on about.

    The GP prescribes the epipens. The students generally have two in school, one in their bag, one in the office. Each one belongs to a named student. If they need it, they take the one prescribed to them. Which are up to date and close at hand.

    No school gets spares. How would a school get hold of prescription only medication to keep as "spare", without it belonging to a particular person. That would not even be legal. How could you administer a "spare" epipen, which had not been prescribed for a particular person? You can't make the decision to give medication which has not been perscribed for that person, without a medical qualification.

    Pointless discussion
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    The regulations allow registered schools, independent educational institutions and local authority nurseries to buy AAIs for emergency use, without a prescription.

    Those institutions described in regulation 22 of the Human Medicines (No.2) Regulations 2014 may legally hold “spare” AAIs.

    Nurseries and early childcare centres which are not funded by local authorities are not able to obtain “spare” AAIs under this legislation.
  18. Medallic

    Medallic New commenter

    Corvuscorax20, it seems you either are not reading any of the posts properly or don't understand so I dont think there's any point for further discussion. You can read further information on the anaphylaxis website or the sparepensinschools website if you want! Enjoy your day!
  19. install

    install Star commenter

    It isn’t prescribing it’s administering it to be fair. And many schools have willing first aiders who offer to help with administering the medicine.

    If most staff saw a student dying I would hope they would do everything possible to help out.
    Lara mfl 05, Skeoch and Medallic like this.
  20. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Star commenter

    so you give the student their own medicine, that has been prescribed for them, not some "spare" injection, which could be the wrong dose for them, or might interact with other medication they are on, or can disrupt their heart beat

Share This Page