Medical Specialists® NHS Pharmacy inundated with orders as schools can now legally hold asthma inhalers in the first aid box.
After almost four years of campaigning, the law is finally changing to keep children who suffer with asthma safe at school. As of the 1st of October 2014, schools will be allowed to keep a salbutamol asthma inhaler in the first aid box for use in emergencies when a child with asthma cannot access their own inhaler. Asthma is the most common chronic condition, affecting one in eleven children. On average, there are two children with asthma in every classroom in the UK. If they are able to manage their asthma themselves they should keep their inhaler on them, and if not, it should be easily accessible to them. However, an Asthma UK survey found that 86% of children with asthma have at some time been without an inhaler at school having forgotten, lost or broken it, or the inhaler having run out. Before October 2014 it was illegal for schools to hold emergency salbutamol inhalers for the use of pupils whose own inhaler was not available. Tragically, children have died from asthma attacks in school and parents are being warned about an increase in the number of children admitted to hospital after they go back to school in September. The charity Asthma UK say the ‘September Spike’ happens each year in the first two to three weeks of the autumn term and is attributed to poor asthma care over the summer holidays, with a more relaxed approach to medicine use over this period. Schools will ensure staff have appropriate training and support, relevant to their level of responsibility. All staff will be: • trained to recognise the symptoms of an asthma attack, and ideally, how to distinguish them from other conditions with similar symptoms; • aware of the asthma policy; • aware of how to access the inhaler; • aware of who the designated members of staff are, and the policy on how to access their help. As part of the asthma policy, the school will have agreed arrangements in place for all members of staff to summon the assistance of a designated member of staff, to help administer an emergency inhaler, as well as for collecting the emergency inhaler and spacer. Medical Specialists® NHS Pharmacy have been inundated with phone calls from school staff regarding the new law on holding inhalers on the premises and the procedures on how to obtain them. The Pharmacists at Medical Specialists® have expertise knowledge on the condition of asthma and its medication, and have been able reassure and help with all the schools enquiries. Medical Specialists® are here to offer online consultations for asthma treatments as well as a range of other medications such as embarrassing conditions. For people who want to know more about our products and services please visit www.medical-specialists.co.uk