Life-saving allergy kits could be rolled out in Jewish schools across the country

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Life-saving allergy kits could be rolled out in Jewish schools across the country

Wolfson Hillel has joined over 300 other schools in adopting Zak Marks and James Cohen's innovative anaphylaxis kits

Zak Marks, co-founder Kitt Medical
Zak Marks, co-founder Kitt Medical

Two north London entrepreneurs are hoping to roll out their award-winning emergency anaphylaxis medical kits in all Jewish schools across the UK.

Like a defibrillator but for allergies, Zak Marks and James Cohen’s Kitt Medical provides schools with a consistent supply of adrenaline pens stored in a secure wall-mounted kit which includes instructions on how to administer the medicine in response to a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Kitt Medical, which counts Professor Adam Fox among its advisors, also offers online CPD-accredited training and incident reporting – all via one annual subscription.

Since launching in 2023, the duo have partnered with over 300 schools and trained 6,000 staff members, helping to provide proactive safety and support to over 150,000 students, most recently Wolfson Hillel Primary School in north London, the company’s first Jewish school.

Marks, 26, told Jewish News: “I’ve lived with severe allergies to nuts for my entire life, and have always found there to be a lack of awareness, poor availability of adrenaline pens and unavailability of training.

“Our dream goal is for our anaphylaxis Kitts to be every defibrillator’s next-door neighbour.

He added: “People can be very close minded when it comes to allergies; there are so many different types and also there are people who don’t know they have an allergy until it’s too late. Having our Kitts in schools should be the norm. It’s a no brainer.”

Kitt Medical has partnered with over 300 schools including Wolfson Hillel Primary School

More and more youngsters are experiencing serious reactions to everyday foods and according to the Benedict Blythe React Report, children miss half a million days of education due to allergy every year. The same report states that cows milk allergy is responsible for 26 per cent of food allergy deaths in schools-aged children, and 50 per cent of school’s don’t have access to adrenaline pens.  According to the National Library of Medicine, UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500 per cent since 1990.

Marks came up with the idea for Kitt Medical in 2020 as part of his Industrial Design university degree before teaming up with James Cohen, a commercial operations and financial strategist.

They have since raised £600,000 and won over £100,000 pounds in grants and awards, including the Mayor’s Entrepreneur award, Santander X and Conduit Young Innovator.

Their Kitts have been used to successfully treat life-threatening allergic reactions on two occasions.

“But all this is only the beginning,” said Marks. “Soon we will be launching in businesses, from gyms to theme parks to offices and beyond.”

Laura Russell, acting Headteacher and Primary School Direct Teacher Training Manager at Wolfson Hillel said: “Ensuring that we are ready to react quickly to any allergy emergency in school is extremely important to us as we have a number of children with severe allergies.  The Anaphylaxis Kitt gives us peace of mind as we know that the epipens included are replaced regularly to ensure they are in date and are positioned at key points around the school. Training for staff is also provided by the Kitt company so that all staff know how to administer the epipens safely and effectively.”

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