In March Hayley Reibbitt, a Criminology student in Social and Policy Sciences, was out running around the STV with a friend and suffered a severe allergic reaction. Staff asked for help from anyone with an EpiPen and fellow students James Smith and Alex Haywood came to the rescue, lending Hayley the adrenaline auto-injector device she needed.
Kat Spray was working on the STV reception and put out a tannoy announcement for help, while sports supervisor Dean Jones spoke to the ambulance service, and duty manager Ian Pinchen liaised with Security to get the ambulance straight to the right location. Health and fitness instructor Alison Blackett got a yoga mat so Hayley could lie down, and fetched an ice pack for her swelling face.
James and Alex had just finished hockey training at the STV; James heard the announcement and phoned Alex, who he knew had an EpiPen of his own for a nut allergy. Alex came running back from his accommodation and Hayley was able to quickly inject herself and get the adrenaline she needed.
Hayley had previously suffered from an unidentified allergic reaction but hadn't had any symptoms for several years. Once she started feeling ill on the run she went to the STV for help. After the staff and students helped her the ambulance arrived; she was given antihistamines and steroids, and stayed in hospital overnight, but is now making a good recovery.
All operations staff in the STV are first-aid trained, along with all our Security staff. If you need help in an emergency you can call 01225 383999 from a mobile, or 666 from a landline on campus.
How to identify an allergic reaction
Allergies can be a reaction to many things, including food (often nuts, shellfish, milk and eggs), grass and tree pollen, insect bites and stings, animal dander, and some medicines. Although most reactions are mild, anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock) can happen and needs emergency treatment.
Symptoms of an severe allergic reaction can include swelling of the throat and mouth and difficulty breathing; sufferers can also be confused and light-headed, so may not be able to explain what's happening. They may collapse so it's a good idea to find them somewhere safe to lie down; it can also help if you raise their legs.
Using an EpiPen
An adrenaline auto-injector (commonly known as an EpiPen) is only available on prescription. If you've been given an EpiPen, remember to take it with you at all times, even if it's been a long time since you last had an allergic reaction. It's also a good idea to let your friends and colleagues know about your allergy and where to find your EpiPen in case it's needed; they can give you the injection while waiting for an ambulance.
Please be aware, any competent person can give an EpiPen injection to the person it's prescribed for. If you need to use one on someone other than the owner, you must be first-aid trained.