Nurses Say Epilepsy Drug Law Will Not Require Them To Train Others
Epilepsy advocates have praised a new law that will allow non-medical school personnel to administer the anti-seizure drug Diastat to children in California, but school nurses maintain they will not train their non-medical colleagues, the Orange County Register reports.
Background on the Law
On Oct. 7, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law SB 161, by Sen. Robert Huff (R-Diamond Bar). It will take effect Jan. 1.
Under the law, public schools in California can offer school employees voluntary, optional training on administering Diastat.
Parents of children who have a prescription for Diastat must request that their child's school offer the training to non-medical personnel.
Pediatric neurologists and epilepsy advocatesÂ say that a seizure that is not treated immediately with Diastat could cause brain injury or death.
Meanwhile, some experts argue that the risk of administering Diastat incorrectly is extremely low even if a non-licensed school employee administers the medication.
Nursing leaders in California said that the new law does not change the state's Nursing Practice Act, which prohibits nurses from training a non-licensed individual to practice nursing.
Tricia Hunter -- executive director of the American Nurses Association's chapter -- said, "All this law says is that a parent can designate a school employee to give Diastat. The law does not allow nurses to train non-licensed personnel to administer Diastat."
Hunter noted that school districts could apply for and obtain federal funding to help pay for school nurses (Martindale, Orange County Register, 10/20).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.