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Schools are not equipped to deal with Allergy emergencies


Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 17/02/2015. Schools are not equipped to deal with Allergy emergenciesTags: Education And Politics Parenting


A study done by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) found that out of a 139 primary schools in Ireland, 133 of them had pupils with allergies. Yet despite the amount of pupils at risk of allergy attack in class and on school grounds there were no school policies to deal with allergy emergencies as school staff are not trained.

An allergy attack such as a deadly anaphylaxis shock in a pupil who is in class would require immediate adrenalin injection administered from a device called an Epipen. However, the DIT study revealed that teachers and schools staff are not trained in performing a adrenalin injection, nor is there clear guidance from the government on this issue.

According to Cliodhna Russell of thejournal.ie today:

“Food safety lecturer in the Department of Food Science & Environmental Health Orla Cahill said that 20% of all anaphylactic shock reactions occur at school.

“There are a lot more people with allergies than before- it’s one thing knowing about the allergy but it’s another thing when people don’t know.”

Cahill added, “Teachers don’t know where to go to for advice as there’s no government-led policy and principals are fearful of the lack of guidelines.”

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) said that none of their teachers were required to administer drugs to pupils.

“A teacher who does take responsibility for administering medicines takes on a heavy legal duty of care to discharge the responsibility correctly.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health told TheJournal.ie that " the department “is preparing a consultation process to consider making adrenaline auto-injectors more widely available”

This review will explore, among other things, the use of guidelines or protocols by means”


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