California Judge Rules Only Trained Nurses Can Administer Insulin Shots
On Friday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled that only trained nurses can administer insulin to diabetic children in California's public schools, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The ruling overturned a 2007 measure that allowed trained school staff -- in addition to nurses -- to administer insulin shots.
In 2005, the American Diabetes Association and four families filed a class action suit alleging that public school children with diabetes were not getting federally mandated care during the school day because of a school nurse shortage.
The California Department of Education settled with parents in 2007Â and issued an advisory urging public schools to allow trained, unlicensed school staff to give insulin shots to students if a nurse or parent was unavailable.
Siding with the California School Nurses Organization, the California Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association, Connelly ruled that the Department of Education's 2007 advisory is in conflict with a state law that says only nurses can administer injections (Nix, Sacramento Bee, 11/15).
Donna Gerber of the California Nurses Association said the new ruling will be "a great benefit to children in our public school system who require adequate nursing care for their diabetes."Â She noted that schools will have to hire more nurses to comply with the court's ruling.
James Wood, a lawyer for the American Diabetes Association, argued that the ruling will have a significant effect on the timely administration of insulin to children with diabetes.
Wood said his organization might appeal the ruling, request the Legislature to change the law or take the case to federal court under disability laws (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.