Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Call me paranoid...

I just read an article about a girl who had an asthma attack at school. She went to the nurse's office, but the person in the office had no medical training and did not administer her medicine. By the time the paramedics came, she was in cardiac arrest and died a few minutes later.

This article attributed the problem to the staff member's lack of medical training, although I would go a step further and say that the staff member wasn't just lacking in medical training, but in training altogether. The child had a Health Plan which stated exactly what to do in the case of an emergency--why wasn't this simply pulled, referenced, and followed? Every staff member at a school should be capable of doing that.

So, today's To Do List includes visiting with the school nurse to find out who knows how to access the Health Plans and medicine and what happens in an emergency if she is incapacitated. Call me paranoid if you will--but paranoia about mundane things is what keeps my baby alive, after all.


  1. Oh my goodness.
    The girl *died*???
    Yes, by all means, be paranoid!

  2. I visited with our school medical professional today (she's actually not a nurse either), and she said that all 5 of the people who work in the main office are trained to respond to medical emergencies, know how to pull and follow and health chart, access the medicine, etc. Additionally, medical information on all the students with health plans is on the computer, so if for some reason someone couldn't find the health chart, they can access the info that way as well. I feel better knowing that there are lots of backups.

  3. We live in a large urban school district. Just yesterday the whole district implemented a breakfast for all program because too many children were coming to school hungry. I stayed for a bit after dropping my son off trying to help his teacher figure out way to keep him safe while feeding the other 15 pre-k students. After he was safe and settled I headed off to the 1st grade class next door to volunteer. As soon as I walked in, a little girl told the teacher she was feeling sick. She drank the milk and then remembered she wasn't supposed to drink it because it makes her sick and they have a different kind of milk at home. The teacher called the office and the clerk said she would call home. The clerk buzzed back into the classroom a few minutes later saying she left a message because no one was home. Are you kidding me? You didn't try to call anyone on her emergency contact list? What if this girl is allergic to milk? I just couldn't believe it. If this happened to my son he would have certainly died because of his milk allergy. There is a school nurse, but she is only there for 1 1/2 days a week because she is also assigned to 2 other schools.

  4. When I talked to the school staff today they told me that they like to hear from parents, because we sometimes catch things they don't see. If I were you, I'd go ahead and talk to your school about the situation you witnessed today.