ACAAI: School System Shows Divergent Food Allergy Plans

Single-district survey reveals differences in management of food-allergic students
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Even within one school district, implementation of food allergy action plans for food-allergic students may be inconsistent, according to research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting held Nov. 6 to 11 in Seattle.

Kerry Sease, M.D., of the Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, S.C., and colleagues sent an 11-question survey to all 67 elementary and middle school nurses in Greenville County, S.C., during February 2008 and obtained responses from 43 (64 percent).

The respondents reported that 16 food allergy reactions had occurred over the previous year. But the researchers found that only 44 percent of schools had all food-allergic students on action plans and that 42 percent of schools had less than half of food-allergic students on such plans. They also found that 86 percent of schools had trained at least three additional school personnel to administer rescue medications and that 5 percent of schools had no other adult than the school nurse to give rescue medications.

"Further research is indicated to investigate the barriers to implementation of an action plan for all food-allergic students," the authors conclude.

Abstract #P282

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