Educators train to give emergency epinephrine at Va. schools

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PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - The start of the new school years means new state legislation involving epinephrine pens will be in effect.

The law requires the epinephrine pens to be in every school with a minimum of two school employee's trained to recognize symptoms and know how to use the pens.

Dr. Thomas Guirkin, the medical director at Southside Regional Medical Center, said epinephrine pens are simple to use.

In fact, Guirkin said someone just needs to press the pen against the thigh, hold with pressure and the needle will auto-eject and administer the epinephrine. And the possibly lifesaving medicine starts to work within 60 seconds.

Guirkin said there has been an increase in the number of children with allergies over the past two decades.  He said having epinephrine pens at schools is a good idea.

In Chesterfield County, some school officials were trained last week, while others are expected to be trained this week.

"Allows for the Administration of Emergency Epinephrine at school settings," said Chesterfield County Schools' Shawn Smith. "It also requires the training of school based personnel, at least 2 school based personnel to provide for that emergency situation."

Dinwiddie County educators were trained to use the pens Tuesday morning.