A new study has found that having epinephrine injectors ("autoinjectors") saves lives. The study found that stocked emergency epinephrine, usually of the brand EpiPen, was used on 35 children and three adults in Chicago-area public schools during the 2012-2013 school year. In three-quarters of the cases, the epinephrine was administered by a school nurse.
Most of those incidents occurred in elementary schools, 37 percent in high schools. Peanuts and fish were the most common reason found for reaction in those instances where the agent was pinpointed. More than half of those reactions were first-time incidents for the patient.
The findings of this study were presented to the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Study author Dr. Ruchi Gupta stated that many of the children involved in the study were "trying foods for the first time at school, and therefore it is critical that schools are prepared for a possible anaphylactic reaction."
There are currently 41 states with laws recommending that schools stock epinephrine injectors. The study is pending peer-review for inclusion in an as yet unnamed medical journal.