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Old 01-13-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,316 posts, read 4,836,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
This is similar to the argument that all public buildings should have portable defibrilators, but don't, because each one whould need to have a person trained to administer it even though they are easy to use and could save lives.
I don't think this is true. You do not have to be trained to use those at all. I took a cpr class and anyone can do it. If public buildings in your area don't have them, start making noise about it. A volunteer fireman did the class and he said that one of the parks in our area kept it in an office that was locked on the weekend and they got them to move it to a place that was accessible at all times.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:44 AM
 
530 posts, read 962,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
That is my concern as well. This is a PRESCRIPTION medication, and as such, intended for the recipient. Would it also not be dosed properly for that person's weight or whatever? Also your other post that speaks of the risk of giving it incorrectly or to the wrong student makes this proposal suspect to me.
There are only two dose levels for Epipens--a Junior and a regular one. Only young children use the Junior ones. Therefore, you are likely to see them in preschools. However, most older children have graduated to a senior one. Regardless, it is recommended that children carry two shots, since more than one shot is sometimes needed. Therefore, the administration of one shot, regardless of the dose level, would not be a problem.

Also, Epipens are considered safe overall. Out of curiosity I looked up its safety record. On one drug site, it did not have any deaths listed from someone having an adverse reaction to an Epipen shot. There was only one death overall and that was a case where the drug apparently did not work. There were two potentially life threatening reactions.

After looking at this, I looked at Tylenol (which granted it used much more widely). It had nine deaths listed (2009-2010 records), including two from cardiac arrest, and eight cases of the drug causing disability (there were no disability cases listed for Epipens).

This illustrates to me that Epipens are pretty safe, and I wholeheartedly support the efforts to have schools stock extra Epipens! I hope the law passes.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: here
24,483 posts, read 28,851,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
There are only two dose levels for Epipens--a Junior and a regular one. Only young children use the Junior ones. Therefore, you are likely to see them in preschools. However, most older children have graduated to a senior one. Regardless, it is recommended that children carry two shots, since more than one shot is sometimes needed. Therefore, the administration of one shot, regardless of the dose level, would not be a problem.

Also, Epipens are considered safe overall. Out of curiosity I looked up its safety record. On one drug site, it did not have any deaths listed from someone having an adverse reaction to an Epipen shot. There was only one death overall and that was a case where the drug apparently did not work. There were two potentially life threatening reactions.

After looking at this, I looked at Tylenol (which granted it used much more widely). It had nine deaths listed (2009-2010 records), including two from cardiac arrest, and eight cases of the drug causing disability (there were no disability cases listed for Epipens).


This illustrates to me that Epipens are pretty safe, and I wholeheartedly support the efforts to have schools stock extra Epipens! I hope the law passes.
How many people took Tylenol in that time period, and how many people were injected with epi pens? The number of deaths or disabilities means nothing without those numbers.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:55 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,272,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
This illustrates to me that Epipens are pretty safe, and I wholeheartedly support the efforts to have schools stock extra Epipens! I hope the law passes.
The FDA regulates what is safe for over the counter, non prescription use. They have not done so. I can tell you that I would be STEAMING angry if a school administrator or teacher administered a prescription medication to my child without it being their prescription coming from me. They are not medical doctors. They don't have the knowledge or authority to diagnose or prescribe.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,081 posts, read 99,155,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
How many people took Tylenol in that time period, and how many people were injected with epi pens? The number of deaths or disabilities means nothing without those numbers.
Exactly! Tylenol is ubiquitous. Most households have a bottle or two or ten sitting around the house in the bathrooms, kitchens, purses, etc. Many deaths due to Tylenol are from overdosing children, e.g. using the concentrated infant drops and the less concentrate children's formula dosing chart. That is why Tylenol and all brands of acetaminophen are no longer making the concentrate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
The FDA regulates what is safe for over the counter, non prescription use. They have not done so. I can tell you that I would be STEAMING angry if a school administrator or teacher administered a prescription medication to my child without it being their prescription coming from me. They are not medical doctors. They don't have the knowledge or authority to diagnose or prescribe.
Agreed. And to tie in with Tylenol, school personnel, including nurses, are not allowed to even dispense an OTC med w/o a signed order. I read a bit about epinephrine, and it is true there are not a lot of fatal reactions, probably b/c it does dissipate from the body quickly. Generally, too, the benefits outweigh the risks. This would not be the case if it were given indiscriminately. I did read that there are more concerns with epi-pen regular in patients barely at the weight level, and more with epi-pen, jr as kids get down to ~30#. Which brings up another issue, elementary and middle schools would have to keep both stregths, and the correct one would need to be used.

As a parent, if my kid were having an anaphylactic reaction, I would probably appreciate whatever someone did to help her. However, I agree I would not want epinephirine used "willy-nilly" by uneducated personnel. That includes teachers, who are not eduated in its indications.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,835,507 times
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My take on it is that it's fine to have Epi-Pens in all the schools, but that is merely a band-aid. This detracts from where the energies should lie, that is education of the allergic child and their family.

My assumption, yes it's an assumption in this particular case is that the mother attempted to give the Epi-Pen to the school nurse without the appropriate prescription and action plan, so the nurse wouldn't accept it. That's what it sounds like to me. If that is the case both the mother and the nurse shoulder the responsibility. By December the nurse should have demanded the documents as well as the Epi-Pen, and the mother should have provided both. Again, an assumption. The thing is this child was improperly educated too, and that resulted in tragedy. Even if there had been stock Epi-Pen at the school, if the child is improperly educated on their allergy, this could have happened on a play date, at the beach, at the neighbor's house, out in the street, wherever.

The first line of defence against a reaction in a food allergic child is the child. Supplying Epi-Pens to 100,000 public schools detracts from the priority, which for me would be spending more time educating children and their families. By 5 most children are capable of taking some responsibility for what they eat, and being vigilent.

There were 2 deaths recently in my state, both teenagers (the highest risk group for food allergic deaths). One occured at home, one in a college cafeteria. In both cases there was no Epi-Pen available. It's just not realistic to supply the world with Epi-Pen, but each allergic child , absolutely!
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:35 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,736 posts, read 9,120,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimbochick View Post
My take on it is that it's fine to have Epi-Pens in all the schools, but that is merely a band-aid. This detracts from where the energies should lie, that is education of the allergic child and their family.

My assumption, yes it's an assumption in this particular case is that the mother attempted to give the Epi-Pen to the school nurse without the appropriate prescription and action plan, so the nurse wouldn't accept it. That's what it sounds like to me. If that is the case both the mother and the nurse shoulder the responsibility. By December the nurse should have demanded the documents as well as the Epi-Pen, and the mother should have provided both. Again, an assumption. The thing is this child was improperly educated too, and that resulted in tragedy. Even if there had been stock Epi-Pen at the school, if the child is improperly educated on their allergy, this could have happened on a play date, at the beach, at the neighbor's house, out in the street, wherever.

The first line of defence against a reaction in a food allergic child is the child. Supplying Epi-Pens to 100,000 public schools detracts from the priority, which for me would be spending more time educating children and their families. By 5 most children are capable of taking some responsibility for what they eat, and being vigilent.

There were 2 deaths recently in my state, both teenagers (the highest risk group for food allergic deaths). One occured at home, one in a college cafeteria. In both cases there was no Epi-Pen available. It's just not realistic to supply the world with Epi-Pen, but each allergic child , absolutely!
Agree.... communication in these cases is the key. Family and the school district should talk and have open communication.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,081 posts, read 99,155,665 times
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I agree with both of the above posts, and I will say in the school nurse's defense (whether she is an RN or not), you can ask and ask and ask a parent again for the signed order, but it is up to the parent to get it to the school. My friend who is a health room parapro has had this problem; I think in one case she faxed something to the doctor herself to get it signed.

I also agree with the statement that having epi-pens in schools is a bandaid approach. When a tragedy happens, pepole always want to "do something". While that has sometimes resulted in good, sometimes it just results in some bandaid approach that really doesn't change anything.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
12,976 posts, read 11,835,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I agree with both of the above posts, and I will say in the school nurse's defense (whether she is a nurse or not), you can ask and ask and ask a parent again for the signed order, but it is up to the parent to get it to the school. My friend who is a health room parapro has had this problem; I think in one case she faxed something to the doctor herself to get it signed.
I agree. I know at my kids school they face the same issues, but they get the principal involved. My point was the nurses put themselves in a vulnerable position if they let it ride for 4 months, but if the parents don't/won't follow through, it's a tough situation.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: New England
1,239 posts, read 1,657,033 times
Reputation: 928
I'm a laid back allergy mom. Our 3 year old has cashew and pistachio allergies. I do let him eat other tree nuts since the blood tests show no allergies to the others (even though the doc said to avoid all tree nuts - but who wants to miss out on pecan pie!) We have an epipen and it's always close by. When he goes to school, one will go with him. If the school won't take it, we'll go to another school.
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