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EpiPen4Schools pilot survey: Occurrence of anaphylaxis, triggers, and epinephrine administration in a U.S. school setting

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Background:

Although epinephrine is the treatment of choice for anaphylaxis, it remains underused.

Objective:

This study was designed to describe anaphylactic events and epinephrine autoinjector (EAI) use in U.S. schools enrolled in the EpiPen4Schools program.

Methods:

This exploratory, cross-sectional, Web-based survey of 6019 schools that participated in the EpiPen4Schools program assessed anaphylactic events and EAI use at responding schools during the 2013‐2014 school year.

Results:

A total of 919 anaphylactic events were reported in 607 schools. Of the 852 anaphylactic events with data on those who experienced an event, most 88.8% (n = 757) occurred in students, and 21.9% of events (n = 187) occurred in individuals with no known allergies. Of the 851 events with data on EAI use, 74.7% (n = 636) were treated with EAIs and 8.5% (n = 54) received a second epinephrine injection. Of the 204 individuals not treated with an EAI, 77.0% (n = 157) received antihistamines, 12.7% (n = 26) received another treatment, and 8.3% (n = 17) received no treatment. Of the 850 events with data on hospital transport, 79.6% of individuals (n = 677) were transported to the hospital. Common triggers varied seasonally, with food listed most frequently overall (62.5%).

Conclusion:

More than one in ten schools that participated in the EpiPen4Schools survey reported an anaphylactic event. Approximately 25% of individuals with anaphylactic events were not treated with EAIs, and 20.4% of patients were not taken to the hospital after an anaphylactic event. Analysis of these data supports the value of stocking EAIs and of providing continuing education regarding the recognition and proper treatment of anaphylaxis for school personnel.
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Keywords: Allergy; anaphylaxis; epinephrine; epinephrine autoinjector; grade school; school nurse; statistical analysis; students; survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Asthma and Allergy, Wheaton, Maryland, USA

Publication date: 01 July 2015

This article was made available online on 20 April 2015 as a Fast Track article with title: "EpiPen4Schools pilot survey: Occurrence of anaphylaxis, triggers, and epinephrine administration in a U.S. school settings ".

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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