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IHDD Life Threatening Medical Conditions

Adopted: December 1, 2009

Background

The safety of all students is a priority of the Board of Trustees. For students identified with a life threatening medical condition the safety of each student requires a higher duty of care. A life threatening medical condition diagnosed by a medical doctor may include a severe allergy, anaphylaxis, asthma, epilepsy or diabetes, which is severe enough to cause death. The severity of each student’s medical condition and medication requirement is determined by a medical doctor and subsequently communicated to the school principal by that student’s parent.

The Board of Trustees recognizes that while it is not possible to guarantee a completely safe environment or eliminate all health risks, it is expected that schools minimize the extent to which students and staff are exposed to a potentially life threatening situation. The management of students at risk of life threatening medical conditions is a shared responsibility among staff, students, parents and health care professionals.

Policy

When a student, enrolled in a school operated by the Board, is formally diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition, that student must be recognized and staff must minimize the risks associated with the medical condition while at school or participating in school-sponsored events or activities.

Procedures

Parents of students identified with a life threatening medical condition must advise the principal or teacher at the beginning of each school year or upon school registration and be requested to provide information on any life threatening medical condition during the school registration process.

It is the responsibility of parents to provide the school with any equipment or life-saving device that is required in the event of an emergency. Devices may include an EpiPen, medical alert bracelet or blood testing equipment required by the student. The equipment or device must be clearly labeled with the student’s name and be readily accessible in the event of an emergency.

Each student identified with a life threatening medical condition must have a medical response plan developed and implemented on an annual basis. The parent/guardian must sign the school’s medical response plan, in collaboration with the family’s medical doctor.  The form shall include:

  1. The student’s name, emergency contact information and current photo
  2. Identification of the exact medical condition
  3. Symptoms of the medical condition and possible negative reactions
  4. Emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a reaction or emergency, including when to call 911.
  5. Name of medication to be administered, dosage, method of administration and expiry date of medication.
  6. Location of emergency equipment or devices and staff trained in First Aid.
  7. Link to school’s overall emergency response plan.

Each student identified with a life threatening medical condition must be identified on the Student Information System (SIS) and the medical response plan must be readily accessible by any staff member in the event of an emergency.

Students over the age of fourteen years should, to the greatest extent possible, manage his/her own medical needs and be included in the development of the medical response plan.

The principal shall ensure that, as required by student’s medical response plan, classmates, all staff, bus drivers and lunch or field trip supervisors etc., are aware of each student's medical condition and the procedures to follow in the student's annual medical response plan.

The principal shall ensure that appropriate training is provided annually to staff to effectively respond to life threatening or emergency situations.

Staff who is trained to provide first aid and/or the medical procedure to the student are permitted to do so in the event of an emergency situation.  Staff is permitted to administer pre-approved medication or supervise a student who requires medication in response to a known medical condition. Staff should not administer medication to a student for whom a diagnosis or medical condition is not known.

Following each life threatening situation, or activation of a medical response plan, there shall be a debriefing session with relevant staff, the student and parent/guardian for the purpose of enhancing the staff’s future response to each situation.

References

Legal Reference:

Alberta School Act: Section 45
Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act
Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act
Drug Endangered Children Act

Cross Reference:

Responding to Child Abuse:  A Handbook (2005). Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB: Author

Exhibit 1 – School Medical Response Plan

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