Anaphylaxis triggers and treatments by grade level and staff training
Findings from the EPIPEN4SCHOOLS pilot survey
White, M. V., Goss, D., Hollis, K., Millar, K., Silvia, S., Siegel, P. H., Bennett, M. E., Wooddell, M. J., & Hogue, S. L. (2016). Anaphylaxis triggers and treatments by grade level and staff training: Findings from the EPIPEN4SCHOOLS pilot survey. Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, 29(2), 80-85. https://doi.org/10.1089/ped.2015.0614
This pilot survey was designed to evaluate the characteristics of anaphylactic events and epinephrine autoinjector (EAI) use in children in U.S. schools. A cross-sectional, web-based, pilot survey of schools participating in the EPIPEN4SCHOOLS® program (Mylan Specialty L.P., Canonsburg, PA) assessed characteristics of anaphylactic events and EAI use during the 2013–2014 academic year. Respondents reported 757 anaphylactic events experienced by students; student grade level was noted for 724 events. Of these events, 32.3% (234/724) were experienced by students in grade school, 18.6% (135/724) by students in middle school, and 49.0% (355/724) by students in high school. Frequency of food-related triggers was consistently high across grade levels. However, many events experienced by students in high school (22.3%, 79/355), middle school (15.0%, 20/135), and grade school (14.1%, 33/234) had an unknown trigger. In 36.0% of schools (2008/5579), only the school nurse and select staff received training to recognize anaphylaxis; most staff or all staff received training in 28.9% (1610/5579) and 30.9% (1722/5579) of schools, respectively. In a majority of schools (54.2%, 3003/5544), only the school nurse and select staff were permitted to administer epinephrine, whereas most staff or all staff were permitted to administer epinephrine in 15.8% (876/5544) and 21.9% (1212/5544) of schools, respectively. Risk of anaphylaxis may be particularly high during adolescence, and some students encounter staff members who are untrained in anaphylaxis recognition or management, or both. These findings support the need for continued anaphylaxis training for the protection of all students, staff, and visitors.