State bill could save students’ lives

AS promised, state Sen. Bob Huff is back with legislation to give epileptic children access to emergency medication at school.

It doesn’t sound on the surface like a controversial matter, but
it turned out to be one in the last legislative session and might well
be again this year.

Huff, R-Walnut, recently introduced Senate Bill 161, which
would authorize school districts to train nonmedical school employees to
administer fast-acting medication to a student having a seizure.

Children with epilepsy – nearly 94,000 of them in California’s
public schools – can suffer prolonged and dangerous seizures. Diastat, a
preparation of diazepam gel, is the standard emergency treatment for
those who suffer a seizure outside a hospital or doctor’s office.

Allowing school nurses, teachers or staff members to give
Diastat to a child having a seizure was “standard operating procedure”
until a couple of years ago, Huff said, when the Board of Registered
Nursing decided that school nurses were not authorized to train or
supervise anyone to administer it. As a result, he said, school nurses
are refusing to train other school personnel to administer Diastat, and
schools are no longer allowing staff members to do so even if they’ve
received the necessary training. Read about his bill in SEIZURE