Allergy Advocacy Association Donates Funds for EAI devices at Roberts Wesleyan

When college students are living away from home for the first time, it becomes more of a challenge to avoid certain foods and other allergens. We were pleased to donate $1,100 to Roberts Wesleyan College recently for the purchase of three packs of epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to be stocked at various locations throughout the campus. Health Center coordinator Blandine Burks was very grateful to receive our donation and describes how the pens will be used.

Roberts Wesleyan College logo

Our Association awards grant to stock NPS EAI devices on Campus

By Suzanne Driscoll
April 12th, 2019

“Thank you for your generosity, support and breath of life!” says Blandine Burks, Coordinator of the Health Center at Roberts Wesleyan College. The Allergy Advocacy Association was pleased to award Roberts Wesleyan College $1,100 for the purchase of three packs of epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to be stocked, with one for the health center, one for the athletic trainer and one for campus safety.

As authorized by New York’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (EATA), the college is making epinephrine available for students, staff and visitors as needed. With a non-specific epinephrine prescription, trained college staff will be able to administer epinephrine to anyone suffering from anaphylaxis.

Ms. Burks heard about the Association’s grant program while attending a training session at St. John Fisher College last fall. Previously, the health center and the athletic trainer split an Epi-PenTM pack with each person taking one pen. At the training given by Dr. Syed Mustafa, they realized in a serious anaphylaxis situation a person usually needs to receive two applications of epinephrine, so they no longer share EAI device packs.

Although there has been a large increase in peanut and other allergies in students at the college, fortunately there have only been a few instances of anaphylaxis. The students involved carried their own EAI device and one girl was able to administer it herself when she had an allergic reaction in the dining hall. Campus Safety was called and they brought her to the health center and then to the hospital. On another occasion Ms. Burks administered an EAI device kept at the health center and the girl also had her own. “She did not want to go to the hospital,” Ms. Burks recalls, “but I know there can be a second, more severe reaction after being exposed to an allergen, so we insisted that she go since that is our policy.”

Ms. Burks encouraged all the nursing students at Roberts Wesleyan to attend the training given by the Allergy Advocacy Association at the University of Rochester School of Nursing in early April. “Our main goal is to prevent serious allergic reactions in the first place. Our dining hall personnel are specifically trained and all food with potential allergens is clearly labeled.

“Your commitment to raise awareness and support to keep students safe by providing the means to treat anaphylaxis in college communities is greatly appreciated.”

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