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asthma childSeptember 8 2014

The Department of Health has published guidance on the use of emergency salbutamol inhalers in schools.


The guidance includes information on how to recognise an asthma attack, and what to do in the event of an asthma attack. It also covers arrangements for the supply, storage, care and disposal of the inhaler, and sets out which children can use an inhaler.

From October 1, schools will be able to keep a salbutamol inhaler on the premises for use when a child with asthma cannot access their own inhaler.

“The emergency salbutamol inhaler should only be used by children, for whom written parental consent for use of the emergency inhaler has been given, who have either been diagnosed with asthma and prescribed an inhaler, or who have been prescribed an inhaler as reliever medication,” says the guidance.

Schools are not required to hold an inhaler, but those that do should establish a policy or protocol for its use in an emergency, based on the DoH guidance.

The document says that schools can buy inhalers and spacers from a pharmaceutical supplier in small quantities, provided it is done on an occasional basis and not for profit.

“A supplier will need a request signed by the principal or head teacher (ideally on appropriately headed paper) stating:

• the name of the school for which the product is required;
• the purpose for which that product is required, and
• the total quantity required.

“Schools may wish to discuss with their community pharmacist the different plastic spacers available and what is most appropriate for the age-group in the school. Community pharmacists can also provide advice on use of the inhaler. Schools should be aware that pharmacies cannot provide inhalers and spacers free of charge and will charge for them.”

Link:
Emergency salbutamol inhalers in schools

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