Wilderness Medical Society endorses in-field treatment by non-medical professionals
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The Wilderness Medical Society has endorsed the administration of epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis in the field under emergency conditions by trained non-medical professionals, according to a panel statement published in the September issue of Wilderness & Environmental Health.
Flavio Gaudio, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and other wilderness medicine experts on the panel concurred that field treatment of anaphylaxis with epinephrine can be a life-saving procedure when access to medical care is not quickly available, as is often the case in outdoor activities.
The panel expressed support for training non-medical professionals whose work responsibilities require them to provide emergency medical care to appropriately administer epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis. This would include staff of outdoor education organizations with responsibility for students at risk for anaphylaxis from food allergies or asthma. The panel recommended that such organizations require at-risk students to carry personal epinephrine auto-injectors, and that the organization obtain legal counsel regarding an expanded staff role in emergency medical care.
According to the consensus statement, "in time, legislative change on the federal level should establish uniform protection in all 50 states. It may take parents who have lost a child to anaphylaxis because epinephrine was not available to push through changes in state and federal laws, as happened in the Canadian school system with Sabrina's Law."