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Local emergency personnel from Rockingham County, Harrisonburg and Augusta County practice with new epinephrine injectors during a training session at Mount Solon Fire and Rescue Wednesday evening. The new injectors allow more accurate dosages in children and are cheaper than autoinjector units.

MOUNT SOLON — A new way of treating children experiencing an anaphylactic episode could save lives in the Valley.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Central Shenandoah EMS Council trained in this new way of treating children. The counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, Rockingham, as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Hot Springs, Lexington, Monterey, Staunton and Waynesboro, participated.

This new method for treating children is the Certa Dose Anaphylaxis Epinephrine Convenience Kit and PALS KIT.

Representatives were trained under Certa Dose representative and pharmacist Chris Lowry, as well as product distributor Terry Grooters at the Mount Solon Fire and Rescue Station.

Before the introduction to this product, severe allergic reactions that can cause anaphylaxes were treated using either EpiPens or TB syringes, Grooters said. 

EpiPens used to be an affordable option for EMS personnel and others to treat an allergic reaction, with an EpiPen once running between $25 and $30. However, that cost has skyrocketed to between $300 and $600.

Certa Dose will cost only $90.

In addition, there is a chance for overdose with the use of EpiPens and TB syringes that can risk children's lives, Grooters said.

Each year, about 7,000 children die and 140,000 are injured due to dosing errors performed by medical personnel.

According to a study published in 2018 in the American Academy of Pediatrics magazine, children treated in an emergency setting are at a particularly high risk, due, in part, to a lack of standard pediatric drug dosing and formulations.

Because the Certa Dose contains a standard and correct dose of epinephrine for children, the chance for overdose is eliminated because EMS personnel are not having to do conversions from adult doses to fit a child's need.

"It saves time and money, and it saves children's lives," Grooters said.

Augusta County was the first in the region and one of the first in the state to receive Certa Dose training under the direction of Capt. Matt Lawler and Medical Director Dr. Asher Brand.

Harrisonburg Fire Department has just come on board.

After training with the Central Shenandoah Council, all squads are slated to receive Certa Dose kits within a short period of time.

According to a press release, Certa Dose may eventually be used in the emergency rooms at Augusta Health, Bath County Community, Carilion Stonewall Jackson and Sentara RMH, once they have been introduced to the products.

Contact Megan Williams at 574-6272 or mwilliams@dnronline.com. Follow Megan on Twitter @DNR_Learn

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