Students enrolled in the emergency medical technician course at Middlesex Community College are among the first in the state to learn how to administer intramuscular epinephrine by traditional syringe in cases of anaphylaxis.
The Connecticut EMS Medical Advisory Committee and Commissioner of Public Health approved the expanded training program Feb. 11 to offset the rising cost and short supply of auto-injectors such as the EpiPen.
"I want to be on the cutting edge of teaching and have the students actually perform the injections in their training," Michael Davis, a certified EMT and instructor of the MxCC course, said in a prepared statement. "My goal is to train competent EMTs in the hopes that if I ever need an EMT, I want someone who knows what they are doing."
Anaphylaxis is a state of severe allergic reaction, such as from a bee sting, which requires immediate treatment. The medication epinephrine is a form of adrenaline that is used to reverse symptoms within minutes.
Davis, who has more than 25 years of experience, worked with Middlesex Health to immediately implement the training during his semester-long EMT course. Davis and licensed paramedic Brandon Curtis led a hands-on demonstration for the class of 16 Feb. 25. The students used professional syringes, vials, and ampules filled with simulated medication to replicate the injections on skin pads made with rubber latex. IM by syringe and auto-injectors are normally applied to the patient's outer thigh area, according to a press release.
"It is nice to do this and not have to spend so much money," Annie Bill, a student from Lyme who enrolled in the EMT course to supplement her application to the U.S. Coast Guard said in the release.
The EMT certification course at Middlesex Community College is designed for anyone 16 and over interested in learning more about the emergency response system and in caring for patients in an ambulance en route to the hospital. Using real equipment, students gain the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation to sick and injured patients, according to the institution.
Middlesex Community College is also one of 10 EMT certification testing sites in Connecticut. The practical exams are developed by the National Registry of Medical Technicians for students who have successfully completed approved EMT training anywhere in the state.
For information about the MxCC EMT course, visit mxcc.edu/ce/courses/emt.