A survey of school’s preparedness for managing anaphylaxis in pupils with food allergy

Raptis, George, Perez-Botella, Mercedes orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3320-6446, Totterdell, Rebecca, Gerasimidis, Konstantinos and Michaelis, Louise J (2020) A survey of school’s preparedness for managing anaphylaxis in pupils with food allergy. European Journal of Pediatrics, 179 . pp. 1537-1545. ISSN 0340-6199

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-020-03645-0


Allergic diseases are on the increase and can affect the child's well-being. The aim of this survey was to assess regional schools' preparedness in dealing with anaphylaxis following the publication of national and international guidelines for schools in 2014. The survey was developed in 2015 and distributed to schools in Cumbria, North West England, UK between 2015 and 2016. Only 47% of the respondents (95% CI, 39-57%) felt confident to manage anaphylaxis. Schools without allergic pupils were significantly less likely to have a standard management protocol in place for emergencies compared to those with allergic pupils (p < 0.001). The majority of the schools indicated that further training was needed (81% (95% CI, 74-88%).Conclusion: At the time of the survey, schools' preparedness in the region, did not meet safety standards recommended by national and international organisations. Although schools have shown eagerness in accessing training in the management of anaphylaxis, tailored training for schools is not yet widely available. There is now an urgent need to design feasible training strategies that create a safe environment for allergic pupils across all UK schools.What is Known:• One quarter of the severe allergic reactions take place for the first time while at school with some of them being fatal.• School staff is ill-prepared in the management of anaphylaxis. Access to formal training is not widely available.What is New:• School staff remains unconfident in managing the severe allergic child.Training in the management of anaphylaxis is scarce, and when available, it does not offer the required depth to cover the holistic needs of allergic pupils.• Schools would welcome generic adrenaline autoinjectors and a national policy with central funding which would describe step by step the necessary measures for the management of anaphylaxis.

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