Californians Take Action!
Glucagon is a hormone that stimulates the liver to release its glucose stores, saving the life of a diabetic in a hypoglycemic incident. In cases in which the diabetic is unable to swallow, a glucagon injection is all that stands between the patient, and death. Shouldn't ANYONE in a school be permitted to administer this lifesaving injection? We don't have hours, we have MINUTES to save a life.
In an emergency situation, without this hormone the child may die.
Recently, State Assembly Member Lori Saldaña (D-76) introduced AB 1667, legislation that would reverse current laws permitting non-licensed school personnel to administer glucagon to children with diabetes in emergency situations. AB 1667 would also prohibit non-licensed school personnel from assisting with the administration of insulin and other medications. (The current law, which was passed in October 2003, is now known as California Education Code 49414.5 - see attached.)
The bill’s sponsor, the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO), indicates that there is a shortage of nurses in the state's public schools. According to CSNO there are 2,791credentialed school nurses for over six million public school children. Many of these school nurses are "roaming" nurses and not full-time at any one particular school. Additionally, school nurses are often not available to attend field trips or extra curricular activities sponsored by schools.
The American Diabetes Association believes that while the school nurse is the most appropriate person in the school setting to provide care for a student with diabetes, the reality is an inadequate number of school nurses exists to assist these students - and those with other medical conditions - during school and at school-sponsored activities.
Diabetes management is needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and diabetes emergencies can happen at any time. School personnel should be prepared to provide diabetes care at school and at all school-sponsored activities in which a student with diabetes participates. Reversing the law that permits this is not only unwise, it is dangerous. Contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose AB 1667 and keep students with diabetes safe at school!
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO SEND A LETTER TO YOUR STATE ASSEMBLY REPRESENTATIVE OPPOSING AB1667. If you need to identify your local representative, go to: http://www.ncsl.org/public/leglinks_search.cfm Below is a sample letter for your consideration. Feel free to share this email with family and friends to elicit their support . Take time to explain to them how this will affect your child at school. Your efforts are vital to protecting the right of all children with diabetes.
-Lisa Shenson, Parent & Advocate
Sample Letter Opposing AB1667
I am writing on behalf of children with diabetes to urge you to oppose AB 1667.
AB 1667 would reverse previously passed legislation that allows non-licensed school personnel to administer life-saving medication to children with diabetes in emergency situations. It would also prohibit non-licensed personnel from assisting with insulin administration and other diabetes care.
Currently there is not an adequate number of school nurses to perform these services. If AB 1667 passes there won't be ANY school personnel to assist students who have diabetes in an emergency or with their required health management.
As a national parent advocate who has personally assisted hundreds of diabetes families in California and elsewhere to protect their child's right to appropriate medical care in school, I cannot overemphasize the devastating effects this legislation would have on the lives of children with diabetes.
...if a child is in need of adult supervision to administer insulin, no one will be able to help. Due to a lack of insulin, the child will suffer needless elevated glucose levels. And those elevated glucose levels are directly linked to increased risk of diabetes complications including blindness, amputation, organ and nerve damage, and thusly quality of life.
...if a child is suffering from severe hypoglycemia, the only treatment is a life-saving glucagon injection to bring them out of a seizure or coma. If no one is willing to administer this injection, the child is at extreme risk for severe brain damage, or worse yet, loss of life.
...to deny a child access to appropriate medical care while in school is a violation of California Education Code and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
I hope you share my view that it is most disturbing that the sponsorship of this bill is California School Nurses Organization. Aren't these the very people who are supposed to care about the safety and welfare of every child?
I am deeply disturbed to think that we've become a society that is so consumed with self-promoting agendas and litigious worry that we've lost sight of the need to support our children. I ask you, WHO will care for these children in need?
I urge you to oppose AB1667 on the Senate Floor...my daughter's life, and so many others, depend on it.