Updated Medical Policy

UPDATED DECEMBER 2017 - In 2013, the Federal "School Access to Emergency Epinephrine" Act became law. Following this legislation, the Commonwealth of Virginia Public Schools instituted stock epinephrine policies to comply with Code of Virginia sections §54.1-3408 and §8.01-225 in 2014. Since that time, increasing numbers of diocesan, private and independent schools have instituted stock epinephrine policies for use with students who do not have a known or diagnosed allergy that may cause anaphylaxis.

Current evidence-based research confirms that epinephrine should be administered promptly at the first sign of anaphylaxis. Evidence-based research further confirms that is it safer to administer epinephrine than to delay treatment for anaphylaxis.

Effective immediately, the policy of Bishop O'Connell High School will be to stock two doses of auto-injectable epinephrine (hereinafter referred to as "unassigned or stock epinephrine") to be administered by a school nurse or athletic trainer to any student believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction on school premises. If a student experiences an anaphylactic reaction and an epipen is administered, 911 will be called and the student will be transported to the nearest emergency room. Parents of students with diagnosed life-threatening allergies and/or anaphylaxis should continue to provide the school with written instructions from their child's health care provider and all necessary medications for implementing student specific orders.

Stocking unassigned epinephrine is not intended to replace student specific orders or parent provided individual medications. All students with diagnosed life-threatening allergies "self carry" their epinephrine auto-injectors at Bishop O'Connell High School. All faculty and staff receive training on anaphylaxis and using epinephrine auto-injectors on an annual basis.

Please contact Bernadette Berset, BSN at the clinic at 703-237-1443 or bberset@bishopoconnell.org if you have any questions or wish to discuss this policy.


National Association of State Boards of Education. (2013, November). Anaphylaxis and Schools: Developing policies for treating students with severe allergic reactions. Retrieved from: http://www.nasbe.org/wp-content/uploads/Anaphylaxis-Discussion-Guide_10-30-13.pdf, Virginia Department of Health. (2013). Recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis in the school setting. Retrieved from: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/58/2016/12/Anaphylaxis_School_Setting_Guidelines.pdf