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Student denied inhaler during asthma attack at school....

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May 27th, 2012, 10:25 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Parents Of Student Denied Inhaler Get Attorney - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

Asthmatic student denied inhaler at school - Yahoo! News (yahoo video, and it's rather loud)

The school says they don't have the paper, but (if you read the comments) the mother says the doctor faxed it and the school lost it.

But that aside... what are your opinions on this?

And another lil tidbit that some schools do not allow children to have possession of their inhalers or epi pens. Instead lumping them in with other medications that only a nurse should administer.

Asthma Inhalers Banned by Some Schools Putting... | Gather
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May 28th, 2012, 11:27 AM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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The nurse who denied it deserves to be shot...

On a more serious note, that sort of crap is just one more file for the "reasons not to go to public schools here" folder for us. Not that it's happened, just that it's always a possibility, anywhere.

Not all asthma attacks are one size fits all. What looks or seems life threatening for some, might not be for others, and vice versa. I've literally watched someone go from a "geeze I can't breathe" look into full blown falling over needing cpr before. A licensed nurse would realize that someone unable to breathe, is going to be agitated. Probably even pissed off, it's not an unusual thing. She should actually have been trained-if she's going to work for a school-for kids who just might lash out during an emergency. I'd be a bit scared to hire someone who flips out and shuts the door "out of fear" just because a kid gets pissed while sick/hurt. Not that it's a good thing if a kid does, but come on now.

The schools here don't let kids keep possession of their meds either. They're kept in the office. But they don't have school nurses here. Well, they do, but it's one lady for like 6 schools plus a campus of 5 schools, she never spends an entire day at any of them. So all meds are kept in the offices. A nurse doesn't have to administer them(and if a nurse does, the school isn't responsible for providing the nurse, here that is, I don't know about elsewhere). They do have to have forms with all medication and everything needs a label and such on it, but they're pretty easy to get to.

I do fully understand wanting their ducks in a row and their ***** covered. So making sure parents have proper paperwork makes perfect sense to me. However the SCHOOL lost it, not the parent. There is proof the doctor faxed it over. There comes a point when one has to say "my bad" and own up to their own wrong doings. This nurse, imo, is an epic fail, and should be thanking her lucky stars she didn't cause the kid any more harm, or worse. The principal is just as much at fault. They both basically said he wasn't that bad off and just ignored hi til mommy got there. Clearly neither one of them has ever experienced an asthma attack. Sometimes, it's worse than it looks. It's probably a good thing it's nearing the end of the school year, because this will go on for ages as it is and would make the school year a nightmare, I'm sure.

Sometimes life is more important than paperwork. If she/they wasn't/weren't going to administer his meds, calling 911 should have been a no brainer. Not waiting for mom to get there and hoping he'd be fine until then. That's just beyond messed up. School officials and that nurse now look like complete incompetent morons. If that was their goal, they get a gold star. My guess is, that wasn't their goal and they're going to be butthurt for a good long while over this.

When the kids were in school here we had to have all kinds of meds in the office at any given time. Some ended up being needed, some not. I've never seen a kid denied their meds here. I've seen a case where the paperwork wasn't actually updated, but the kid needed it asap. The logistics weren't as important as the kid though(I have to offer kudos there, though I shouldn't, since it seems common sense, lol). I have seen the office turn around and tell a parent that can't hold a med "in case", because they didn't have the paperwork, but that's about it. Even things like tylenol can be brought in here, as long as there are forms from a doctor stating so.(we had to have liquid tylenol for dd2, because she couldn't do pills or chewables, and this was only an "in case" med).
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May 28th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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May 28th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm not fond of adults who stand by and watch kids in distress knowing that they have that child's meds in another room.

I do understand that paperwork needs to be in order but there's also common sense. When a child/teen/human being is in distress, don't moan about paperwork, help them!
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May 28th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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Im AMAZED by the amount of paperwork that is required now.

Dita has an epi-pen, I dont know, somewhere, we keep losing it, it isnt a huge deal because its a type of antibiotic that she's allergic to, so its not something she's going to accidentally consume, she hasnt had an anaphylactic reaction since she was 4 for that reason alone, however, as long as she is under the age of 18, she must have one at school and all the relevant paperwork must be filled out.

When she started school I handed the pen to her teacher, with her name and allergy on it, and her teacher put it in the lock drawer and made a note on the attendance roll. End of story.

Now since then, we have moved into the stages of:

- The supervising teacher had to carry her pen in the playground at all times
- The medical permission form with all the teachers names on it as people allowed to administer the epipen, every time a new teacher came to the school, I had to sign a new form
- A bigger form was introduced for display in the staff room
- Bigger form was re-introduced with a photo on it
- New rules came out about Dita's high school having two buildings on the same block of land so we had to have two epipens and two form
- New forms for public display to make students aware of who has an epipen (which apparently medical confidentiality dosent exist when youre under 18 and have a life threatening medical condition)
- Then they changed the forms to colour coded and different types of allergies (food, natural causes, medications) have a different coloured form and Dita actually had to stay home from school until we got the yellow, or whatever colour it was, I cant remember, form signed because her white form wasnt good enough anymore.

Oh and nothing to do with the school, but now she no longer has an epipen, even though I continually still call it that, she has an anapen, which is the rival to the epipen which her doctor prefers because apparently people keep stabbing themselves with epipens instead of the person theyre supposed to inject, so then we had to fill out the anapen form which is EXACTLY the same as the epipen form, except it has a different logo in the top corner.

In the end, yes, I would rather this obsession with the identical forms that I have to continually fill out and get her doctor to sign because they have changed the layout slightly, or put a border around her photo or whatever (information has never really changed on them) than to have her have an anaplylactic reaction and have everyone stand around her and go "Umm, we lost the form, cant do anything to save her life here" but it is just overkill.

I think this obsession with 'suing' in particular (I dont know if anyone else has heard, but currently in Australia there is a girl trying to sue her former high school because she didnt get into the university she wanted) has just created this obsession with having to have every piece of information and as many signatures possible under the sun before you can act on anything, and unfortunately when its a life threatening condition, having the form does nothing, its how the people around act that does something, a piece of paper dosent guarantee safety.

In the end, she's just as safe at school now, with her photo plastered on the wall of every building with big red letter that say "ANAPHYAXIS" over the top, as she was when she had a sticky label with her name on the pen.

And what are they going to do with the forms? If she has an anaphylactic reaction, I want someone to run and get her pen, not run and get the form. That is nuts to me.
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May 30th, 2012, 08:40 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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[QUOTE=Frackel;26086317]The nurse who denied it deserves to be shot...

On a more serious note, that sort of crap is just one more file for the "reasons not to go to public schools here" folder for us. Not that it's happened, just that it's always a possibility, anywhere.


What does this have to do with public schools? I don't know any private school that just lets kids walk around with their medication either. It's a legal liability and schools don't want to take that chance. That's not limited to public schools.

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May 30th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
The nurse who denied it deserves to be shot...

On a more serious note, that sort of crap is just one more file for the "reasons not to go to public schools here" folder for us. Not that it's happened, just that it's always a possibility, anywhere.


What does this have to do with public schools? I don't know any private school that just lets kids walk around with their medication either. It's a legal liability and schools don't want to take that chance. That's not limited to public schools.
I put emphasis on the part of that statement that is the basis for it. Most schools here, aren't so grand at handling much of anything, forget an emergency. I was lucky our school was as good as it was(this being the elementary all three of mine went to) on some of their policies because it's not common here. I could totally see this exact scenario, if not worse, playing out here in any number of schools. I find it rather scary-hence being one more reason not to go to school here. When dd2 moved to the intermediate in 4th grade, they gave me all kinds of heck for her having formula with lunch, and that's a food-a basic need, not a "just in case" med.

It's not the carrying that bothers me, well the not being able to, I mean. At least not that much. In fact, I said they don't let kids do it here either, and I completely understand why. It's the not acting in an emergency that seals the deal even further though. It's not really as uncommon as it might seem. I haven't seen kids here denied medication when needed, but I have heard of it happening in plenty of other places. Public schools aren't the only ones, of course. Just because it hasn't happened to us here, or that I saw in the time my kids went to school here, doesn't mean it can't happen here. It could, potentially, happen anywhere. A minor reason for not going to school here, probably, but it's still a good one, for us.

I loved my school(s) growing up, and they actually let me keep my inhalers with me eventually, after I had one incident, with the proper papers and labels of course. But that one incident was enough for me, and my mom. It's scary as hell not being able to breathe. Even scarier when someone is standing there watching you and doing jack about it. At the time I had two different inhalers-one that used capsules filled with a fine white powdery med, and an emergency albuterol based one. After my mom came to the school, they were much better about it, thankfully. But it still took one upset mom and me being out for a week, for them to do it. I always had an epi-pen in the office too. That one, they never gave us grief about.
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June 11th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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Any child with asthma or a serious allergy is allowed, by law, to keep their medicine with them. All 50 states now have laws saying kids can keep their inhalers or epipens with them. Now the schools may not know this. You may have to fight for that right, but they do have that right. When my dd was in elementary school, the school made her keep her inhaler at the nurse's office. I was okay with that then, bc she was younger and needed help to administer the inhaler correctly, and she didn't have as many asthma attacks then. But once she started middle school, I insisted that she be allowed to keep the inhaler with her. I even printed out a copy of the law, in case the school tried to fight me on the issue, but they were fine with it. They did require her dr to sign a paper saying she needed the inhaler and she was responsible enough to have it with her. Any school that says she can't have it will have a fight from me. That child shouldn't even had to walk to the nurse's office. Many kids with an asthma attack can't make it that far without their inhaler. And if a child is having an asthma attack and no inhaler is available for them, it is much better to err on the side of caution and go ahead and call 911 than to just let them suffer.
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June 11th, 2012, 07:24 PM
Dhartanya's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I always kept my inhaler with me.

Anyone with an epipen kept it on their person in high school too.

I don't think I'd ever hand over my inhaler to the school. It's in my name and its for a serious condition.

If my children attend public school and require an inhaler or epipen, they too will carry it with them.
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June 11th, 2012, 09:54 PM
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Kind of off topic, but this topic reminded me of the horrid ***** nurse and teachers that would ridicule me when I had an asthma attack at school. Sometimes I had a legitimate attack but there were times I was getting downright tortured in class (kids saying "You f*****g dyk*, you are going to grow up to be an alcoholic like your Dad") and I'd fake an asthma attack to get out of class. My TEACHER would say "Oh yeah, go to the nurses office, your second home!" and send me out of class. No wonder I hated school and was suicidal in 6th grade. I transferred schools I was so suicidal. But I seriously sat in the bathrooms and gave myself an asthma attack just to get out of class school was so hellish, but the nurse wasn't any nicer. I wasn't allowed to have my inhaler with me.
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June 14th, 2012, 10:54 PM
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I live in Canada and I've never heard of a student not being able to carry whatever on them. My ex has asthma and ALWAYS had an inhaler on him, and a good portion of the kids I went to school with in elementary school had their inhalers.
Now, I graduated 5 years ago, and I don't know if that's changed, but I think it would be ridiculous to not allow the student to carry it on them, especially in highschool.
My daughter has a higher risk of having asthma because of her birth and her father has asthma, and they have high hopes if they think I won't allow her to have a puffer on her if need be.
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