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MINISTER'S DIRECTIVE NO. MD 2008-06 Procedures for Dealing with Life-Threatening Allergies

MINISTER’S DIRECTIVE NO. MD 2008-06

Procedures for Dealing with Life-Threatening Allergies

Supersedes Minister’s Directive No. MD 2007-02

Pursuant to sections 8 and 117 of the School Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. S-2.1, I hereby issue the following Minister's Directive concerning Procedures for Dealing with Life-Threatening Allergies.

The purpose of this Directive is to provide guidance to parents and school personnel concerning procedures for managing students who have life-threatening allergies and are at risk of anaphylaxis.

Reference should be made to the Information Handbook on Anaphylaxis, Third Edition, September, 2006, published by the Department of Education and the Department of Health. Copies of the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan and the Emergency Allergy Alert Form are included in the Handbook.

  1. In this Directive
    1. "anaphylaxis" means a severe life-threatening allergic reaction involving two or more organ systems. The reaction occurs when an allergic individual is exposed to a particular protein material (antigen) such as peanut, nuts, eggs, fish, or is stung by an insect such as a bee, hornet or wasp, or is given medication such as penicillin or aspirin;
    2. "EpiPen® (epinephrine)" means a disposable spring-loaded self-injectable syringe with a concealed needle that contains the drug epinephrine;and
    3. "peanut free policy" means a zonal or full school policy as advised by the Department of Health or the Department of Education.
  2. The procedures set out in this Directive are intended to assist school personnel with strategies for the management of students who have had anaphylaxis in the past or are at risk of anaphylaxis. These procedures are designed to provide guidance for the establishment, to the extent possible, of
    1. schools, attended by elementary students, which are free of the substance which could place an allergic student at risk of anaphylactic shock;
    2. classrooms and common areas attended by intermediate and high school students, which are free of the substance which could place an allergic student at risk of anaphylactic shock;
    3. school practices which reduce the possibility of exposure to substances which cause anaphylactic shock;
    4. plans for the management of a student who is at risk of anaphylactic shock; and
    5. buses which are free of substances which could place an allergic student at risk of anaphylaxis.
  3. School boards shall include the following in the student registration form:
    1. Does your child have a life-threatening allergy to certain foods, insect venom, medication or other material?
      YES NO
    2. If your answer to the above question was yes,
      1. Please indicate the substance to which your child is allergic.
        ______________________________
      2. Has a medical doctor recommended that your child have an emergency medical kit (EpiPen®) available for use at school?
        YES NO
  4. The parent of a student who is at risk of anaphylaxis is responsible for providing
    1. the school principal with information about the student's allergy;
    2. assistance to the principal by having the student's medical doctor complete the Allergy Information section of the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan and by providing authorization and consent to carry out emergency procedures;
    3. a completed copy of the relevant sections of the Emergency Allergy Alert Form;
    4. a recent photo of the student;
    5. the student with a Medic Alert® bracelet or other suitable identification;and
    6. the student with a carrying pouch and an unexpired EpiPen® (epinephrine) which will be available for use at school, during field trips and on the bus.
  5. Upon being informed by the parent and/or through the student registration form that a student is at risk of anaphylaxis, the principal shall
    1. provide, or forward to the parent, copies of Minister's Directive, No. MD 2007-02, Procedures for Dealing with Life-Threatening Allergies, the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan, and the Emergency Allergy Alert Form;
    2. provide an opportunity for the parent to attend a meeting with school personnel for the purpose of completing and/or reviewing the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan and the Emergency Allergy Alert Form when the student registers to attend the school and annually thereafter;
    3. provide information about the student and the student's allergies to the school staff, cafeteria staff, bus driver and substitute personnel who may be required to assess the student's need for administration of the EpiPen® (epinephrine) and administer the EpiPen® (epinephrine);
    4. post, following parental consent, in the staffroom, classroom, school office or other accessible location, a copy of the Emergency Allergy Alert Form along with a photo of the student, if provided by the parent, and locate an EpiPen® (epinephrine) with the Form;
    5. arrange for the public health nurse to conduct an information and training session for staff including the bus driver;
    6. ensure that staff who may be required to assess the student's need for administration of the EpiPen® (epinephrine) and administer the EpiPen® (epinephrine) are provided with a completed copy of the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan and a completed copy of the Emergency Allergy Alert Form;
    7. order EpiPens® (epinephrine) and replacements for expired or used EpiPens® (epinephrine) from the Department of Education in order to maintain the quantity established in section 8 of this Directive;and
    8. implement a peanut free policy in schools where there is an elementary student with a diagnosed peanut allergy or history of anaphylaxis to peanuts unless advised by the Department of Health that a peanut free policy is not necessary. If necessary, follow the prevention and management procedures as prescribed in the Information Handbook on Anaphylactic Shock,
  6. If a principal has information that a student who is registered at the school is at risk of anaphylaxis and the parent, following notification, has not met the responsibilities set out in section 4, the principal shall
    1. provide information about the student and the student's allergies to the school staff, cafeteria staff, bus driver and substitute personnel who may be required to assess the student's need for administration of the EpiPen® (epinephrine) and administer the EpiPen® (epinephrine);
    2. arrange for the public health nurse to conduct an information and training session for all school staff including the bus driver;and
    3. order EpiPens® (epinephrine) and replacements for expired or used EpiPens®(epinephrine) from the Department of Education in order to maintain the quantity established in section 8 of this Directive.
  7. When a student who is at risk of anaphylaxis transfers to another school, the principal shall inform the principal of the receiving school in writing along with the transfer of other records that the student is at risk of anaphylaxis. If the Extreme Allergy Management and Prevention Plan and the Emergency Allergy Alert Form have been completed by the parent, the principal shall forward a copy to the principal or the receiving school.
  8. The Department of Education shall
    1. provide additional EpiPens® (epinephrine) to schools for use in an emergency according to the following formula:
      Number of students registered
      at the school who are at risk
      of anaphylaxis
      No. of EpiPens®
      to be provided
      to schools
      1 student 2 EpiPens®
      2 - 4 students 4 EpiPens®
      5 or more students 6 EpiPens®

      EpiPens®Jr. shall replace EpiPens® for students who weigh between 15-30 kg (34-68 pounds).

    2. maintain records concerning the distribution of EpiPens® (epinephrine) to schools and notify principals at least one month in advance of expiry dates of EpiPens® (epinephrine) supplied to schools by the Department of Education.

DATED at Charlottetown this 10th day of September, 2008.

Gerard Greenan
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

 

  
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