According to the most current statistics, every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department. That is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year. Moreover, this number includes only food allergies. Other exposures such as insect bites, fabrics, detergents and other environmental stimulants can trigger anaphylaxis. While we certainly understand not all schools have the available resources to implement such a program, we do strongly encourage each school to seek out the needed resources and seriously consider moving forward with the implementation of a general use epinephrine pen program.
Please reference the additional information for the updated policy and procedures for schools that elect to make available general use epinephrine pens. These policies and procedures have been developed to ensure each school is providing the Pens in compliance with applicable Maryland State laws. If your school wishes to proceed with the implementation of a general use epinephrine pen program, please carefully review, complete and implement your program in compliance with the attached document General Use Epinephrine Program 2016-2017. Please note Maryland Law, Education Article 7-426.3 still requires that any general use epinephrine program is overseen by a licensed health care professional. There was some confusion in the medical community that this provision of the law had been changed. It has not.
Once the Office of Risk Management has received your completed documents, a certificate of insurance will be issued to your location providing protection to the medical professional providing the medical direction for your program. Since the finalization of these documents for this coming school year, two additional reference documents are now available. You and your school nurse are strongly encouraged to review this additional information. "Researcher's Review of Effects of Hot, Cold on Epinephrine" along with additional information from the FDA related to recommended dosage guidelines can be reviewed here.
As a reminder, if your school currently has a general use epinephrine pens available to your students but you have not completed the attached documents, you are placing your students, school and the medical professional providing the medical direction to you school at risk of possible civil damages.