W.Va. considers emergency injections for schools

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, October 17, 2013

West Virginia education officials are considering allowing teachers to give emergency injections of epinephrine to any student who has a severe allergic reaction.

A policy proposed by the Department of Education would put epinephrine auto-injectors called EpiPens in public schools. Teachers, secretaries and other aides could receive training from nurses to administer the EpiPens, the most common self-injectable form of epinephrine. The auto-injectors contain adrenaline and treat anaphylaxis, a life-threatening, body-wide allergic reaction.

The state's existing policy doesn't allow a student to receive an EpiPen injection if he or she doesn't have a prescription or prior diagnosis.

School nurses have been pushing for the policy change for years, said Becky King, a registered nurse who oversees the Department of Education's health programs.

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