AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, today congratulated the Victorian Government on introducing its anaphylaxis kit and legislating to ensure teachers and child carers are trained in handling potentially deadly severe allergies.
Dr Haikerwal called for an anaphylaxis program to be implemented nationally.
"A national anaphylaxis awareness and education program is important to protect the children who suffer from severe allergies, their parents and carers, and the people who help them during an attack," Dr Haikerwal said.
"Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has done the right thing - there's now an opportunity for COAG to implement a quick, easy, inexpensive national policy that will save lives."
Automatic adrenaline injection devices - known as Epipens - are available on the PBS.
"These are significant medications that give children and parents the confidence to lead a more normal life," said Dr Haikerwal, who has a child with severe allergies.
"All school employees should receive training in how to deal with anaphylactic reactions, including the administration of Epipens.
And they should be legally protected when they use these devices in an emergency.
"Good Samaritans should have confidence when they use an Epipen to treat a child who is suffering an anaphylactic reaction that they are safe from prosecution."
National guidelines should include:
· Mandatory training for all staff in schools, preschools, and child care facilities.
· Treatment plans for all children who have a medical condition predisposing them to a medical emergency.
· Pre-authorisation of school staff to administer medication if necessary.
· Protection for employees who administer medication in the belief it is a medical emergency.
"Many schools are already doing a great job in caring for students who suffer from severe allergies and other conditions which could lead to medical emergencies," Dr Haikerwal said.
"We want to make sure that all students in Australia who have these conditions enjoy the same level of care.