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on Jun 19, 2014
I hope this effort comes with some educational credits for Linda Lenoir, whose training about allergy in general seems to have happened in the stone ages. Her heart's in the right place, usually, let's see if her knowledge and attitude can catch up.
Thanks to the parents for getting involved!
Does this worry other parents as much as it worries me?
Does this mean that if my child who has no known allergies can be treated with an epi pin by a non medical school employee for any symptom that could possibly be an allergic reaction to a possible substance? Who will be making the call that this is the right action? Who will administer the epi pin? What happens if this is the wrong treatment for what might be something completely different?
This a great relief, since anaphylaxis can kill a person in a matter of minutes.
This is also a far cry from afew years ago when my Son's PE teacher decried him as a whimp for using an inhaler for his asthma before PE!
FYI - both Gunn and Paly athletic staff (trainers & coaches) must take Red Cross CPR and First Aid before the school year starts. RC First Aid includes Epi Pen admin. They do not stock epi pens, but they are trained as to administrate a dose if required to do so.
I applaud the Palo Alto school district for their outstanding effort to protect all students. As more than 25% of all life-threatening severe allergic reactions occur in individuals WITH NO KNOWN ALLERGIES, this move will make schools safer for everyone. Severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, can kill within minutes if epinephrine is NOT administered, and there is no downside to providing epinephrine if anaphylaxis is suspected. Information, training, and allergy rescue equipment are available at www.epicentermedical.com. Use of an epinephrine auto injector like Auvi-Q or EpiPen should be as familiar as a fire extinguisher in an emergency - life-saving.
Awesome! Even a bee sting could cause an allergic reaction that parents would never have known about if their child had never been stung.
@PalyParent - The article states that you can opt out for your child since you're concerned. But as a parent of a child with a "surprise" allergy...think this may save a life.
Yes, I have read the article.
Nowhere does it state who will make the call on when the pins should be used. Nowhere does it state that it will be school medical personnel, there aren't any in the elementary schools. Nowhere does it state what happens to someone who receives this medication when it is the wrong medication to use for whatever is causing the condition the student is experiencing.
I would like to be told about this policy from the schools answering these questions, not the local newspaper which I know many parents don't read.
I would not necessarily want to opt out, but I would like a better idea of what the potential hazards are for incorrect diagnosis and/or usage of these pins.
And yes, I have some experience of serious surprise allergic reactions because as a child I remember having a very serious sudden reaction to a bee sting although I seem to have outgrown the reaction. I know that I was lucky at the time and it turned out to be not too serious but since I was scared and so were my parents, a non medical person trying to stick me with a strange pin would not have felt reassuring at the time.
Maybe this is an opportunity for us to discuss why it is we can't afford full-time school nurses at our elementary and middle schools -- we have part-time at middle and essentially none in elementary -- but we can even contemplate adding $16-20 million or more to a $20 million gift for a gym at Paly that would already be almost twice what was spent for the new gym at Gunn if they just spent the gift money.
Please write your concerns to the school district, and instead of just being a crank, suggest that they need to ensure we train existing personnel -- such as the school psychologists and health techs at middle school level -- in proper use, or that we actually BE the great school district we claim we are and staff our school sites with full-time school nurses.
All that's in an epi-pen is epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When someone gets injected, it's as if he is getting an adrenaline rush. I personally know several people who have injected themselves by accident and nothing harmful happened. They are parents of children with severe food allergies, hence they have access to the epi-pens.
Having said that, whenever anyone receives a epi-pen shot, he/she should seek medical help immediately by dialing 911. This is standard procedure for epi-pen use.
Does that ally part of your concerns?
@UC Davis Grad- [Portion removed.] Paly Parent voiced a valid concern- the article doesn't say who will be making the determination as to whether the child will be stuck with an epi-pen but since there are no nurses in the lower schools it will likely be non medical staff. [Portion removed.]
This is a valid concern but the reality us that students already have epi-pens and their use ends up in the hands of non-medical staff, since we seem to think we need a $40 million dollar gym rather than a free $20 million one far more than we need school nurses.
Most likely use of these will be for kids who didnt get their paperwork in or somehow forgot their own epipen. However, you bring up a valid point. Lots of people I wouldnt want in charge of such a serious decision and don't trust to do the right thing.
Although I agree that 24M should be enough to build a quality gym, the extra 16M cannot be used to buy nurses. This 16M is coming out of the bond and has to be used for things approved in the bond. But, the money could be used for more computers/furniture to outfit the new buildings or to upgrade some of the dismally outdated buildings at Paly. It is clear that the much of the community and the board value this gym complex more than they value upgrading existing classroom buildings.
PAUSD (and community parents) should be congratulated for 'leading again.' The administration of my own school district is not yet interested in discussing this. Maybe 'follow PA' will help motivate my community and administration.
Policy needs to be followed by Procedure. The details for this need to be worked out and communicated to the parents (and staff). 911 and medical phone advice can get the needed medications into the appropriate kids in a life-saving time. What is the hazard of injection when not needed and what is the hazard of non-injection (or late injection) when needed? I'm sure medical studies are available.
Just hope the procedure writing does NOT take as long to craft as the PAUSD uniform 'bully reporting policy.'
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