Superintendent’s Memo #171-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

July 13, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Development and Implementation of Policies for the Possession and Administration of Epinephrine in Schools

The Virginia General Assembly passed HB1107/SB656 at the 2012 session requiring local school boards to adopt and implement policies for the possession and administration of epinephrine in every public school. Local policies are required to be established by the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Epinephrine is to be administered to students believed to be having an anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction. The Code of Virginia § 22.1-274.2 stipulates that epinephrine may be administered by a school nurse or school board employee authorized and trained in the administration of epinephrine.

The guidelines suggest local anaphylaxis policies should include the following elements:

At the direction of the General Assembly, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP), with contributions from identified stakeholders, has developed guidelines for recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis in the school setting (Attachment A).

In addition, the group has provided the following resources for school divisions:

Additional resources for policy development, training, and meeting the needs of students experiencing a medical emergency may be accessed at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/index.shtml, under the heading “Anaphylaxis/Epinephrine.”

The General Assembly has appropriated $200,000 to be distributed to school divisions in fiscal year 2013 for the initial purchase of stock epinephrine. School divisions will receive an electronic transfer of funds on July 31st. The specific amount will be based on the total number of school buildings in the division.

Should you have further questions, please contact Tia Campbell, school health specialist, at 804-786-8671 or Tia.campbell@doe.virginia.gov or Janet Wright, school age health specialist, at 804-864-7689 or Janet.wright@vdh.virginia.gov.

PIW/tbc

Attachments:

  1. Guidelines for Recognition and Treatment of Anaphylaxis in the School Setting (PDF)