Childhood Medical Emergencies and Anaphylactic Reactions in Schools: The Texas Medical Association urges all schools, from preschool through 12th grade, to:
Develop Medical Emergency Response Plans (MERPs);
Practice these plans to identify potential barriers and strategies for improvement;
Ensure that school campuses have a direct communication link with an emergency medical service (EMS);
Identify students at risk for life-threatening emergencies, and ensure these children have an individual emergency care plan that is formulated with input from a physician;
Designate roles and responsibilities among school staff for handling potential life-threatening emergencies, including administering medications, working with EMS and local emergency departments, and contacting families;
Train school personnel in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in addition to information on district emergency policies, signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and strategies to reduce the risk of exposure;
Adopt the School Guidelines for Managing Students with Food Allergies distributed by the Food Allergy Research and Education; and
Ensure that appropriate emergency equipment to deal with anaphylaxis and acute asthmatic reactions is available and that assigned staff know how to use this equipment.
TMA will work to expand to all state laws permitting students to carry prescribed epinephrine or other medications prescribed by their physician for asthma or anaphylaxis.
TMA supports increased research to better understand the causes, epidemiology, and effective treatment of anaphylaxis.
TMA urges the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the adequacy of school personnel and services to address asthma and anaphylactic emergencies.
TMA urges physicians to work with parents and schools to ensure that all their patients with a food allergy have an individualized emergency plan.
TMA urges physicians to work with school health advisory councils to ensure districts have comprehensive emergency management plans that address prevention and recognition of anaphylaxis, and medication administration. Plans should include procedures for students without a previously diagnosed allergy.
TMA will work to allow all appropriately trained clinical first responders to carry and administer epinephrine in suspected cases of anaphylaxis (CM-CAH Rep. 4-A-08; amended CM-CAH Rep. 1-A-13).