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Adrenaline Auto Injector Advice


From October 2017 schools have been allowed by law to buy adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices without a prescription, for emergency use in children who are at risk of anaphylaxis but their own device is not available or not working (e.g. because it is broken, or out-of-date).

Any AAI held by a school should be considered a spare/back up device not a replacement for a pupil’s own AAIs.  Current guidance from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is that anyone prescribed an AAI should carry two of the devices at all times

Anaphylaxis a life-threatening condition and therefore children at risk of anaphylaxis should have their two prescribed AAIs at school for use in an emergency, as some people may need more than one dose of adrenaline.  When an AAI is administered you should request a replacement so that the patient always has two AAIs available for use in an emergency.

Depending on their level of understanding and competence, children and particularly teenagers should carry their AAIs on their person at all times or they should be quickly and easily accessible at all times.  If the AAIs are not carried by the pupil, then they should be kept in a central place in a box marked clearly with the pupil’s name but NOT locked in a cupboard or office where access is restricted. 

We will routinely prescribe two AAIs for each patient who is at risk of anaphylaxis for them to carry on their person.  It is not current practice for us to prescribe in excess of two AAIs for patients to retain in multiple locations (i.e. two for school and two for home). 

Should your child require education about their AAI, support can be obtained from the websites below or alternatively Craig, our Clinical Pharmacist will be able to advise.  Patients and carers are encourage to obtain a demonstration pen from the manufacturers (can be found on websites below) so that they can practice how to use the pens in case of an emergency.

Demonstration Videos for each AAI device





Patient information on AAIs (MHRA)

MHRA Patient Information on AAIs

Spare Pens In Schools

A one-stop resource for anyone who wants to know more about anaphylaxis and adrenaline auto-injector pens in schools

Spare Pens In School Website


Guidance for Schools

Guidance for schools regarding AAI policies and protocols can be obtained in documents below:

Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools (Department of Health)

Those facilities choosing to hold a spare AAI(s) should establish a policy or protocol for their use in line with “Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions: Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England” (Supporting Pupils), and with reference to the document “Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools” (Department of Health).


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