Online Program

Chicago Public Schools' District-Issued Emergency Epinephrine Initiative

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Victoria Rivkina, MPH, CHES, Office of Student Health and Wellness, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Megan Erskine, MPH(c), Office of Student Health and Wellness, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Lilliana Cardenas, MSW, Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Phoenix, AZ
Stephanie Whyte, MD, MBA, Office of Student Health and Wellness, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Food allergy prevalence has increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011.  One of every 13 children in the US has a food allergy.  More than 15% of children with food allergies have had a reaction in school, and 20-25% of epinephrine administrations in schools involve previously unknown allergies.  Schools must have undesignated emergency epinephrine available in the event of an anaphylactic emergency.

The aim of this presentation is to describe how Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was the first large, urban school district in the country to develop and implement its comprehensive District-Issued Emergency Epinephrine Initiative and to present outcomes.

After updating policy to include the Initiative, epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) were distributed to all schools in the district prior to the beginning of the 2012/2013 school year.  Administration data was collected through school nurse and principal reporting mechanisms.

Thirty-eight district-issued EAIs were administered during Year 1 of the Initiative, and 32 EAIs were administered during Year 2.  More than half of epinephrine administrations were to students with no prior history or diagnosis of food allergy, and the trigger in over 30% of cases was never identified.  Data collection for Year 3 is on-going.

After evaluating the distribution and tracking the usage of district-issued EAIs, CPS learned key lessons which will inform future years of the Initiative.  As the first large, urban school district to implement such a project, CPS is poised to be a national model of what a schools can do to prevent potential mortality and morbidity among their students.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain how CPS became the first large, urban school district in the US to stock emergency epinephrine in its 600+ schools Describe Year 1 and 2 outcomes of the District-Issued Emergency Epinephrine Initiative Discuss best practices, challenges, and lessons learned based on 3 years of the Initiative

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a master's level educated public health profession who is also credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist. I have been working in school health since completing my MPH, and I am the coordinator for the program this presentation will describe.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.