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Is the nursery being unreasonable? - EpiPen related

(43 Posts)
ThePurpleDanube Wed 06-Mar-19 10:40:17

Dd (aged 3) has a severe egg allergy, of which his nursery are obviously aware.

It's currently about 17 months since she was diagnosed, and the two epipens we were given at the time will soon be past their expiry date (18 months).

I've called up the GP multiple times asking for new epipens, but have been told that they're currently unavailable and they have no idea when we'll be able to get them.

Dd's nursery say that she can't attend without an in-date epipen.

Are the nursery being unreasonable to be so inflexible when it's quite literally impossible to get hold of an EpiPen within the UK at the moment?

ThePurpleDanube Wed 06-Mar-19 10:40:40

*her nursery, obviously (not sure how that happened)

DustyMaiden Wed 06-Mar-19 10:43:58

I had the same problem with epipens being unavailable. DS is 18. I was given a private prescription for £140 and they suddenly became available.

SilverBirchTree Wed 06-Mar-19 10:43:57

That sucks. Could you get a note from your GP?

HollaHolla Wed 06-Mar-19 10:44:08

There’s a national shortage of epipens. I was advised at hospital this week, that an extra 6 months is being given as a ‘grace period’ on all epipens.
I’m advised that children are getting priority with any epipens which become available (because small people’s lives are more valuable?!) so sure you’ll get at least one new one soon, if you put a prescription into a pharmacist.

EhlanaOfElenia Wed 06-Mar-19 10:44:21

I'm really sorry this is happening, but I don't think they're being unreasonable. Mixing with so many children, being exposed to egg is a real risk. All it takes is another child to foist some food into your DD's mouth while the staff aren't looking, which can happen easily.

bubblegumbottles Wed 06-Mar-19 10:44:37

I don't think they are BU. If the allergy is that severe then they are doing what is safest for the child.
If god forbid your DC were to have a reaction and an ambulance couldn't get there in time, can you imagine the absolute nightmare for the nursery?

ZeroFuchsGiven Wed 06-Mar-19 10:45:11

I don't think they are being unreasonable, I have just googled and you can buy them online.

TheViceOfReason Wed 06-Mar-19 10:45:12


If her allergy is that severe, it is not reasonable to expect the nursey to shoulder the burden of knowing that should the worst happen and she come into contact with egg, they can't do anything to treat her.

Is the allergy life threatening? If so, YAB even more U.

The nursery is a business and has to protect itself. Should your DD become severely ill or, god forbid, die, blame would be apportioned to them. It is much MUCH harder for them to guarantee an egg free environment than it is you at home.

Bufferingkisses Wed 06-Mar-19 10:45:42

Sadly they're not. They can't take the risk of something happening at nursery. They simply won't have the man power to deal with it amongst other things. I've no easy answer though, all you can do is keep trying to get the pens. Do they come through pharmacies at all? Can you contact all the ones you can get to and ask to be told if there's any news?

soontobeanana Wed 06-Mar-19 10:46:55

When do the epipens expire ? I've got this situation at the moment and I've asked parents to get a letter from their GP stating that the EpiPen is still OK to use and to state for how many months.

The nursery is being guided by the LEA, Ofsted and their insurance company and cannot just decide to 'break' the guidelines. They need written advice from a reliable source.

Conkernudge Wed 06-Mar-19 10:47:03

My son also has allergies. Epi pens are difficult to get hold of at the mo, but my GP has been prescribing, I then take the script to the chemist, who fax it to the suppliers. They are then sent the Epi pens. I don’t think any chemists have them on the shelves ‘just in case’ at the moment. They have to prove they have a prescription, hence faxing.
If you really can’t get hold of Epi pens in your area, there is an alternative, which is very similar. Sorry I can’t remember the name but I had a letter from my GP explaining the shortage and that there was an alternative.
I think you should call your GP back and ask what they suggest, investigate alternatives.
Good luck!

Whereareyouspot Wed 06-Mar-19 10:47:08

Contact your CCG pharmacist as there is guidance on this- some pens are safe to use beyond stated use by date
Plus there are alternatives to epipen like jext and emerade your GP may need to explore

Loseitandkeepitlost Wed 06-Mar-19 10:47:30

I feel for you but they are acting responsibly.

jazz45 Wed 06-Mar-19 10:50:22

We had a similar problem back in September. The pharmacist advised us to ask for a prescription for either a jext pen or an emerade pen. It took a bit of a wait but we got them and nursery were happy with the change as we also ordered a new trainer pen for them.

jazz45 Wed 06-Mar-19 10:51:27

Lots of sympathy though. I remember the worry at the time.

meandthem Wed 06-Mar-19 10:59:01

This is happening in schools too and has been an issue for a while. I would second previous poster re change to jext/emerade “brand” first. My understanding as an HCP is that using out of date epipen is not necessarily harmful but may be less effective, so better than nothing in life threatening situation. If your GP could authorise in writing that old pen may be administered that could satisfy all parties in the interim. Good luck!

PerfumeandOranges Wed 06-Mar-19 11:11:42

I suppose they really cannot take the risk as, another poster said, another child could easily give your child some egg.

Is there a possibility that you could ask the nursery to ban all egg products until you get an epi pen? They might be willing to help and I'm sure other parents would be happy to comply. I would.

Daisymay2 Wed 06-Mar-19 11:15:44

There as a letter to parents of Epi pen users detailing the arrangements for EPi-pens and making recomendations linked below. You can check the batch numbers of exptended expiry dates on the Epi-pen website.
There is guidance to pharmacists about getting them on a named patietn basis ( hence faxing the script)
Jext and Emerade seem to be quite short as well.
I second the advice about seaking to the CCG pharmacy team- they might do a general letter to all nurseries in your area advising what they need to do. ( It appears to be give the out of date one and dial 999)

Emilizz34 Wed 06-Mar-19 11:47:55

The nursery are totally correct here . There are other brands of pen available. Jext and Emerade . Why not ask your GP to prescribe an alternative ?

Macaroonmayhem Wed 06-Mar-19 11:54:52

They officially extended the Epipen sell by date by 6 months due to the shortage.

What my GP said to do was go to my pharmacy and ask them which ‘auto-injector’ they were currently able to source and then tell the GP and they would write a prescription for. We switched to Emerade by doing this and the pharmacy had them in stock no problem.

insancerre Wed 06-Mar-19 12:01:07

The nursery will be following advice from their insurance company
Medication has to be in date
Nurseries are under no obligation to give any medication whatsoever
The responsibility rests with you to provide the correct medication, whether that means a private prescription or another brand of pen

Dakiara Wed 06-Mar-19 12:21:22

The EpiPen jr hasn't been issued with an extension according to the manufacturers. My GP was unable to fulfill the prescription, nor could Boots. I have since found a chemist who was able to try outside their usual suppliers and who have managed to get it filled.

I suggest getting the prescription and trying all the independents if you haven't already, and there is also guidance on regarding sourcing pens.

And the alternatives advice from above. Good luck. x

agnurse Wed 06-Mar-19 13:31:03

YABU. The #1 reason people die from anaphylaxis is that they did not get epinephrine in time. The nursery are being totally reasonable in saying they won't take her without epinephrine. It's a HUGE liability for them.

I agree with the PPs - see if there's an alternative you can get.

muddledmidget Wed 06-Mar-19 13:38:43

I would try a different pharmacy to see if they can obtain them for you. As a previous poster said they are in short supply but if a pharmacy has a valid prescription they can fax it through (anonymising your sons details) to Alliance the wholesaler and they arrive about 2 days later. It might be the Pharmacy you use doesn't have a contract with Alliance, or more likely, they haven't tried to order it other than putting it onto their ordering system on the computer

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