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Services

The Student Health Center does not offer initial allergy testing or serum dilutions and that prior to receiving immunotherapy at the SHC, the student must be evaluated and under the care of an allergist.

The Student Health Center will be authorized to review the student’s medical condition, care, and history with the allergist, should the SHC provider deem it necessary.

Student’s Responsibilities

 The student will be responsible for making appointments that abide by the injection schedule of the allergist.

It is important the student be aware that:

  1. Missed injections can cause an increase in dangerous reactions. Missing doses may result in the discontinuation of immunotherapy injections at the discretion of the SHC in consultation with the allergist.
  2. If the student is behind in scheduled injections, then he/she may have to return on a later day after the SHC is able to contact the allergist.

Observation Period

The student must understand that anaphylaxis can occur with the first injection or any subsequent immunotherapy injections without warning. The student must agree to:

  1. Remain in the Student Health Center under direct supervision of a nurse for 30 minutes after the injections. Understand that no exceptions can be made for this requirement and that it will be necessary to plan for the appointments accordingly.
  2. Let the nurse know immediately if one experiences facial flushing, shortness of breath, rash, or feeling unwell in any way.
  3. It must be understood that very rarely, allergic reactions can occur after 30 minutes. The student will be required to have and to know how to use an Epi-Pen and must agree to bring the Epi-Pen to every immunotherapy visit. Failure to bring this in will result in a delay of the injections.

Risks and Side effects:

Understand that allergy injections are associated with risks. Possible reactions include local reactions at the injections site, and rarely generalized reactions (anaphylaxis), which may be life threatening. Local reactions will be treated by the registered nurse. Anaphylaxis (hives, swelling, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, or mental status changes) require medical evaluation and intervention. The need for emergency medication is up to the discretions of the treating provider. If Epinephrine is administered, the student will be transported to the ER via ambulance. If the SHC provider deems emergency care is needed and the student declines, it must be agreed that the SHC will not be responsible for the health consequences of that decision, including death.

Before Receiving Injections – Understand that a history of an allergic reaction can increase risk of subsequent reactions and may require a dose adjustment. Understand that immunotherapy and medications to treat allergic reactions may dangerously interact with other drugs. It will be important for the student to notify the nurse prior to injections of:

*History of delayed local reaction (raised irritated area at the injection site) from the prior injections.

*Changes to the medical history, recent ER visits, or an Asthma attack in the prior 5 days.

*Medications changes or additions, especially medications given for high blood pressure, migraine headaches and glaucoma (called “beta blockers”). (Immunotherapy is not given to students on beta blockers).

*Immunotherapy is not given to a student if pregnant for a likelihood of pregnancy.

Student Health Center Roles

The student will not see a medical provider as a part of the visit for immunotherapy. The injections and monitoring will be conducted by a registered nurse. A provider will always be on site in the event of an emergency. The Student Health Center will store immunotherapy serum in the SHC refrigerator labeled with the demographic information. The student will not hold the SHC or American University responsible for the integrity of the serum in the event of a power outage, storage failure or other catastrophic event that may occur.