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.