Emergency Procedures: Are They Enough?

By Heather Legg

The other day some friends and I were talking about emergency procedures at school. We realized that there are probably some ways our kids could be a little safer at school. Not just kids with allergies and asthma, but also kids with heart conditions and anything that could require immediate attention.

For instance, schools are now starting to get AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) for the emergency treatment of certain heart conditions. But how many people in the school are trained to administer this? The same thing with Epipens, how many school personnel are trained in the administering of it? Should there be someone certified in every school, on every hall way, in every class? What if the people who are trained aren’t there? Should substitute teachers be trained? There are a lot of questions regarding this which came up in our conversation, and as usual, when the questions start, they really roll.

We talked about general training for all staff. They should be able to detect signs of symptoms of a plethora of conditions, including allergies and asthma. They should be able to know when to perform emergency procedures, when to call 911 and when not to. I know we all write it in a medical plan, but is that right there in front of everyone who has your child? What about substitute teachers? Do the regular teachers leave it in their plans which student has allergies, which one has asthma, and who can’t have nuts or milk? Do the subs pay attention?

What about the bus? If kids can’t keep Epipens in their backpacks, should we all get another Epipen for the bus driver to have, just in case? Should they be trained? Maybe there could be a few emergency Epipens that the counties provide, just in case. The bus drivers could have one; the school could have one, because what if God forbid, someone undiagnosed has some sort of anaphylactic reaction. But then legalities come into play.

Over our coffee, my friends and I ran the gamut of questions and great ideas and perfect medical plans for the perfect world. But, alas, we don’t live there. Instead we live in reality, where we may need to ask some extra questions and if we feel very strongly about an idea or two, we should pursue it. Maybe some of these things just haven’t been thought of yet. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a real emergency to make people think of the “what-ifs.” It would be nice to have those under control before they happen.

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