Debate Continues Over Bill on Administration of Seizure Drug in Schools
Debate persistsÂ over a bill (SB 161), by Sen. Robert Huff (R-Diamond Bar), that wouldÂ let non-medical school employees administer theÂ anti-seizure medication Diastat, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
The legislation will be reviewed by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations next week.
Details of the Bill
SB 161 would allow school districts to participate voluntarily in a program to train non-medical personnel on how to administer the drug to students who experience an epileptic attack.
According to a legislative analysis, $10 million would be needed for schools to implement the measure. The cost would cover training, development of individualized health plans and record keeping.
Opposition toÂ the Bill
Nurses and teachers have argued that only a licensed professional should administer Diastat.
Bonnie Castillo, government relations director for the California Nurses Association, said that the drug is "very dangerous" and "can cause cessation of breathing," adding that "only a trained individual can make an assessment that would require this medication."
Dolores Duran-Flores, a legislative advocate for the California School Employees Association, said that administering the drug while handling a student who is having a seizure goes beyond the scope of what should be required for non-medical personnel.
Support ofÂ the Bill
Proponents of the bill point to support from medical associations that say Diastat is safe to administer with few adverse effects.
Supporters of the bill are seeking to have Diastat be treated like other emergency medications that are administered to students experiencing an allergy attack or severe hypoglycemia.
According to the AP/Mercury News, parents of children with epilepsy want the assurance that their child can receive a lifesaving medication even if a school nurse is not available (Kumar, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 8/21).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.