Severe Allergic Reaction Scenario

Tabletop Exercise #1

Severe Allergic Reaction Scenario

Tabletop Exercise #1

When: May at 10:00 AM

School: Elementary School

Incident: At 10:00 AM 1st grade student David Allen entered the main office complaining of difficulty breathing. David stated he just finished snack time in his classroom and is now having a hard time breathing. David was sent to the nurse’s office.

Response: After reviewing David’s records, the nurse notes that David is allergic to nuts and has asthma. While in the nurse’s office David complained that his tongue itched. Per the plan in David’s file the nurse gave David a dose of Benadryl and called his mom. The nurse recommended that David be picked up because Benadryl can make him sleepy. David’s mom informed the nurse that she would not be able to pick David up for another “couple hours”. The nurse agreed to send David back to class and have the teacher “keep an eye on him”. David’s mom came to pick up David 2:00 PM with no further incidents. The next day the principal was informed that David was rushed to the hospital and he was in intensive care. Various staff members were interviewed after the fact. It was confirmed that while David was not served a snack that had peanuts, other children brought snacks from home that did contain peanuts.

Critical Thinking Questions

1. What current emergency plans would be activated if this occurred at your district?
2. What board policy and state statue can be reference to help govern this situation?
3. Would you have involved anyone else?
4. What would you have done differently?
5. What lessons can be learned from this scenario?


While each situation is unique, having an effective plan in place with trained staff can drastically improve the outcome of a situation. Please reach out to CSDSIP to talk through this tabletop exercise or to answer any questions that may arise out of the completing this exercise.


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