Emergency Asthma Inhalers in Schools

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From the 1st October 2014 primary and secondary schools are now able to hold Salbutamol (Ventolin) Inhalers for emergency use by their pupils.


Approximately 20 children of school age in England and Wales die every year from asthma and most deaths occur before the child reaches hospital. A survey from Asthma UK found that 64% of children with asthma have at some point been unable to access a working reliever inhaler in school, having either forgotten, lost, broken or run out of their own. 62% of children with asthma have had an asthma attack while at school.


In 2012, Asthma UK made enquiries as to whether the law could be changed to allow schools to keep a spare Salbutamol (Ventolin) reliever inhaler for use in an emergency. Some schools had already implemented protocols for holding and using inhalers in an emergency, although these where for named use only and supplied by the pupils own Doctor.


An evaluation of risks and benefits of schools holding a Salbutamol (Ventolin) Inhaler for emergency use was submitted to the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), subsequently a recommendation was made the legislation should be amended.


The amendment affects the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, which now allow schools to hold stocks of asthma inhalers containing salbutamol for use in an emergency. The amended regulations came into effect on 1st October 2014.


From this date onwards, schools can buy inhalers and spacers (the plastic funnels which make it easier to deliver asthma medicine to the lungs) from a pharmaceutical supplier in small quantities provided it is for occasional use and is not for profit.


It is clear that this change will save the lives of children, however, Guardian Angels Training has in the past few weeks received countless telephone enquiries from worried Head Teachers and Governors concerning the abilities of their staff to respond appropriate in an emergency. Guardian Angels Training has for the past 4 years trained thousands of teachers and school ancillary staff in Paediatric First Aid (hyperlinked to RQF (QCF) Level 2 Paediatric First Aid course please) therefore we are in a unique position to be able to assist with this new training need.


If you are a head teacher looking for experts to deliver a full paediatric first aid course or wish to have a bespoke “Salbutamol Asthma Inhaler in Schools” training course delivered to your staff then please contact us.


Guardian Angels Training only ever utilises nurses and paramedics to deliver our paediatric first aid and asthma inhaler training courses so you can rest assured that you and your staff will receive the best training available. Furthermore, here at Guardian Angels Training we can also arrange for Schools to purchase Salbutamol Inhalers directly from our Pharmacy partners. Contact us now for a complete solution to your needs.

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