At the January 2018 board meeting, Tyler ISD Trustees approved a policy that allows for stock supplies of EpiPens to be on hand at all campuses and buildings throughout the district. The policy gives school nurses and other designated school personnel authority to administer the EpiPen to students or other individuals on campus who may be suffering from anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction.
“The ability to have unassigned EpiPens on all of Tyler ISD’s campuses will provide a safety net for our students, staff, and visitors in the event of an anaphylactic reaction,” Rachel Barber, RN, district health services coordinator, said. “Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition where, if not treated immediately, can lead to permanent injury or even death.”
The EpiPen is an auto-injector prefilled with epinephrine; a drug used to counter the allergic effects of insect stings or bites, foods, drugs and other allergens. Personnel from each campus will be trained on the proper technique of EpiPen administration. Protocol dictates that emergency personnel must be called to transfer patients to the emergency room every time an EpiPen is administered.
“Since we implemented the new EpiPen policy we have already had to use one of the EpiPens on a campus,” Barber said. “If we had not had the EpiPen available we could have had a tragic situation to deal with. Our staff and nurses have been trained well and acted quickly to save the students life.”
Barber adds that parents of students with known life-threatening anaphylaxis should continue to provide the school with all necessary medication for implementing the student’s specific order on an annual basis.
For more information, please contact the Tyler ISD Health and Human Services department at 903-262-3131.