Creating a System to Track Allergic Reactions in Schools
Saturday, March 5, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Marjorie Yarbrough, MPH, Bridget Smith, PhD
Rationale: An estimated 8% of children in the United States have a food allergy, and nearly 40% of children of these children have a history of severe reactions.  To gain a better perspective of how many allergic reactions occur during school hours, we are developing and piloting an Allergic Reaction Registry for schools.

Methods: We conducted two separate focus groups and one key informant interview with school nurses from three K-12 schools (n=6). Questions focused on how nurses managed allergic reactions and their data needs.  Based on their input, we collaborated with the nurses and informatics experts to further develop a reporting tool that can be accessed in REDCap or as part of an electronic charting system. 

Results: Major themes identified included the importance of sharing information with other healthcare providers and creating a narrative account in the registry.  Registry data includes: demographics, type of allergen, how the allergen came into contact with the individual, time of exposure, where the reaction took place (location), symptoms, medications given, the timing of treatment and whether the individual went to the Emergency Room.  A narrative section was also included for the nurses to be able to describe in more detail the reaction and care that followed if they choose to do so.

Conclusions: In order to understand the context and frequency allergic reactions in schools, the successful development of a form that can be used in different school systems is critical.  This form can be shared across the country to achieve this goal.