Severe allergic reactions and opioid overdoses can be fatal if not treated immediately with appropriate medications.

With that in mind, the board of the 14,000-student Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has decided to ensure that epinephrine injection pens and naloxone doses are available at all schools, and that staff are trained in how to use them.

The Board of Directors on Nov. 12 unanimously voted to update protocols and policies for the two drugs. The change goes into effect after the second reading at the Board’s Dec. 10 meeting.

“Two epinephrine auto-injectors will be available at all school sites for school nurses or other trained employees to use in serious allergic reactions,” said Scott Vernoy, Director of Student Services.

Naloxone nasal inhalants, such as Narcan, will be available at the district’s high schools. First, school nurses and other staff will be trained in policies and procedures for its use. Narcan is effective in counteracting the effects of opioid overdose.

“Up to this time only the two police officers directly assigned to the entire school district carried naloxone,” Vernoy said. “The addition of naloxone is appropriate because of the spreading opioid epidemic throughout the country. This gives us another layer of preparation in the case of an event occurring on our campuses.”

In 2014, the California Education Code authorized guidelines concerning training of nurses, storage and the use of epinephrine in cases of severe allergic reactions.