This article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27725975/) discusses the dramatic rise in pediatric food allergies diagnoses and the corresponding increase in the number of children carrying EpiPens.
Remember the definitive treatment for anaphylaxis is specific medications of epinephrine, anti-histamine, and corticosteroids. Outdoor adventure program leaders that are responsible for first aid should rely on specific training, certification, and medical director authorization to recognize and treat anaphylaxis.
Based on recent on-course conversations students have reported to me increasing legal anxiety and hesitation for outdoor adventure programs to carry EpiPens that are not prescribed to a specific individual. This issue is likely to gain more attention if the occurrence of food allergies is increasing as programs carrying EpiPens is decreasing. Does your program carry EpiPens? Has your program recently stopped carrying EpiPens? Do you have a medical director authorized protocol for anaphylaxis assessment and treatment?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC