Administration of Routine and Emergency Medication and
Introduction Management of student health conditions, including the administration of medication, is a courtesy provided by Gayndah State School consistent with our duty of care to:
maximise the participation in school activities of students who require medication or
special procedures for managing a health condition; and
optimise the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students at a school site.
School staff can assist a student with medication under the carer provisions of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation (1996) provided that a written request is received from the student's parent or legal guardian. Staff must follow the directions on the original pharmacy label attached to the medication container. Provision of first aid in emergency situations to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and others affected by Education Queensland workplaces and workplace activities is an obligation under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995. Opportunities should be provided for students who require medication, or who have a health condition to participate in the full range of school activities according to the advice of their medical practitioner. This applies to classroom activities and activities such as excursions, camps, swimming, sport, physical education, outdoor education, vocational activities, work experience and public displays. Some students may be approved to self-administer their medication and this issue is addressed in the Self-Administration of Medication section of this position statement. All other medications require secure, in some cases locked, storage and administration only under the supervision of a staff member. Medication required for emergencies, such as an anaphylactic reaction or asthma attack, must be accessible at all times. School staff must not administer over-the-counter medication, including analgesics, homeopathic or prescribed medications unless they meet the accountability of a written request from a parent/caregiver accompanied by written advice from a medical practitioner and with the medication in the original labelled container. The exception is the reliever puffer, such as Ventolin, that is included for the emergency treatment of asthma under the guidelines. The containers for these are often blue. Expectation of Parents It is reasonable to expect parents/caregivers to undertake the following in relation to the administration of medication and/or management of health conditions.
Request the school in writing to administer prescribed medication or to assist
in the management of a health condition.
Notify the school in writing of any requests and/or guidelines from medical
practitioners including potential side effects or adverse reactions.
Provide the medication in the original labelled container to the nominated
Ensure the medication is not out of date and has an original pharmacy label
with the students name, dosage and time to be taken.
Advise the school in writing and collect the medication when it is no longer
Requirements for Effective Implementation
Staff and parents/caregivers are consulted about,
and informed of school procedures for the administration of medication and the management of health conditions.
Students undertake a component in the Health and
Physical Education program that addresses health conditions and their management.
Students and staff are informed of the warning
signs, triggers and emergency responses for health conditions requiring medication or other management, of which the school has been advised.
Staff have access to sources of information about
medication and health conditions. First aid training that incorporates specific first aid responses for health conditions is provided and accreditation maintained for school personnel willing to be first aid providers.
Basic skills and information are provided to all staff
about medication or other management procedures for health conditions known to be present in the school.
Training is provided by a medical practitioner or
Willing and available staff members receive training
on the administration of medication for the health conditions where parents/caregivers have notified the school. Training should address storage, dosage and administration.
All school activities, including excursions, camps,
physical education, swimming, sport, and outdoor education, include a planning component addressing the needs of students requiring medication or management of a health condition. This plan should be addressed within the school's risk management approach.
A management plan, universal or individual, is
developed for students who require medication or management of a health condition at school.
Protocols that incorporate safety and security
considerations are developed for students approved to self-administer medication and/or self-manage a health condition.
Schools take reasonable action to remind students
about taking their medication where necessary.
A first-aid qualified staff member and a first aid kit
Access to medication by, and risk to, other students
Medication carried by students is securely stored.
Some medication requires locked storage and
Medication for emergency situations is stored so that
Written requests from parents/caregivers with
associated guidelines and procedures from the medical practitioner are recorded and able to be retrieved quickly.
Medication is administered directly from the original
A register is maintained for the purpose of recording
all occasions when school staff administer medication including:
The actions and attitudes of school personnel and
school protocols support students capable of self-administering medication.
Schools promote the normalising and acceptance of
The school culture discourages discrimination
against students requiring medication or with a health condition.
Registers of medication and other information
related to a students health should be treated and stored as confidential information.
Self-administration of Medication Contemporary management of chronic health conditions encourages students to administer their own medication, to recognise the signs and symptoms of their condition and to participate in the full range of activities offered by the school. In schools, self-administration may apply to students who are assessed by their medical practitioner and parents/caregivers and approved by the principal as capable of administering their own medication while participating in school activities. Self-administration of medication may include:
monitoring blood sugar levels and the injection of insulin for diabetes;
inhaling medication such as "Ventolin" for asthma;
orally administering anti-convulsant medication for epilepsy; and
orally administering enzyme replacements for cystic fibrosis.
Students approved to carry their own medication should demonstrate practices of secure storage of medication that may be potentially harmful to other students and safe disposal of injecting equipment. Recommended procedure for approval •
The parent/caregiver provides a written request, with guidelines and procedures from
the medical practitioner, for the student to be responsible for administering their own medication.
The principal determines if the student is capable of assuming this responsibility.
The student and the school agree on where medication is stored and where and how
Teachers can assist students to manage their health condition by incorporating their medication needs in the routine management of the class and school. Emergency First Aid for Asthma, Diabetes, Anaphylaxis and Epilepsy
In emergency situations, trained school personnel may be required to administer medication to preserve the life, safety and health of a student. These emergencies may occur for students with diabetes, epilepsy, anaphylaxis and asthma. The possible medication requirements include administering inhaled medication such as "Ventolin" for asthma, rectal administration of "Valium" for epilepsy, an injection of glucagon for diabetes and an injection of adrenalin for anaphylaxis. Injections for diabetes and anaphylaxis are usually administered by a pen device and are not intravenous. The designated first aid personnel in the school should be trained in the recognition and management of an emergency for students and staff with health conditions. The information and training provided to school personnel who administer medication in an emergency should include instructions on the administration method, possible complications and upper dosage limit of medication. Emergency response protocols should address the following: •
Authorised school personnel know where the medication is stored, and to whom it
The medication is readily accessible at all times.
Ensuring the student has been correctly identified before administering any
School personnel are informed of, or can quickly find out, the correct dosage.
School personnel are trained in administering the medication, where necessary.
A process is established for who is to contact the parent/caregiver, ambulance and
medical practitioner and when contact is to be made.
If an ambulance is called, the ambulance officer should be advised of what
medication, if any, has been administered.
When a medical practitioner has provided first aid guidelines for a student these must be followed. When there are no specific medical practitioner guidelines the following first aid procedures should be implemented as best practice.
Emergency first aid response for asthma Asthma Foundation of Queensland recommends the following procedure for students who are showing signs of distress resulting from inability to breathe freely. Firstly, check that the student has not inhaled a foreign body that is obstructing the throat. If the likely cause is an asthma attack then proceed as follows.
1. Sit the person down and remain calm to reassure the person. 2. Give four puffs of a blue reliever, Ventolin, Asmol, Airomir or Bricanyl, immediately.
If possible, use a spacer. Ask the person to take four breaths from the spacer. The medication is best given one puff at a time through the spacer.
3. Wait four minutes. If there is no improvement give another four puffs of the reliever. 4. If there is no improvement, call an ambulance immediately. Repeat steps two and
Emergency first aid response for anaphylaxis FACTS Qld recommends the following procedure for students with a history of anaphylaxis and who have an individual management plan, or inadvertent exposure to a trigger.
1. For bee stings - remove bee stingers by scraping them out of the skin. 2. For food reaction - remove food from contact with skin or from mouth and wash
3. Check that all conditions have been met according to the management plan. 4. Confirm that you have the right student. 5. Administer the student's adrenalin.
Emergency first aid response for epilepsy Epilepsy Queensland Inc. recommends the following first aid response.
1. Time the seizure 2. Remove any hard objects, place something soft under the head and loosen any tight
3. Do not restrain the person or force anything into their mouth. 4. Roll the person onto their side to allow excess saliva to drain from their mouth. 5. After the seizure allow the person to rest until they have fully recovered. 6. If the seizure lasts more than five minutes call an ambulance.
Emergency first aid for diabetes Diabetes Australia Queensland recommends the following first aid response.
1. Ask the person if they can do a blood glucose test or if they are unable to do the test
2. If the level is less than recommended on the individual management plan treat with
3. Retest in 15 minutes to ensure the blood glucose level is rising. 4. If the person is unconscious, lay them on their side, ensure their airway is clear,
administer glucagon as per the management plan and call for an ambulance.
Important Notes 1. It is recommended that the distance from the school, camp or location of a
school activity from the ambulance service be considered for a student with anaphylaxis or other health condition requiring an urgent response. In some instances, particularly for a student with anaphylaxis, schools should negotiate priority status with the ambulance service.
2. Schools should have an asthma reliever puffer such as "Ventolin"
(salbutamol) or terbutaline, in their first aid kits. The containers for these are often blue. The Delegate of the Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health issued an authority on 8 October 1998 for school use of asthma medications in emergency situations.
The symptoms and signs that suggest an asthma attack are: 1. Difficulty breathing 2. Shortness of breath 3. Chest tightness 4. Wheezing 5. Coughing Not all of these symptoms and signs may be present in all cases of an asthma attack. Although an asthma attack can occur at any time it is especially likely to occur after exercise. What To Do
If a spacer (e.g. Volumatic, Nebuhaler or other brand)
Step Sit the person upright, remain calm and
provide reassurance. Do not leave the person
b) Place spacer mouthpiece in person's mouth and fire 1
Step Give 4 puffs of a blue reliever puffer (Airomir,
Asmol, Bricanyl or Ventolin), one puff at a
time, preferably through a spacer device.*
Ask the person to take 4 breaths from the
a) Shake the asthma puffer. b) Place the mouthpiece in or slightly away from the
person's mouth. Fire 1 puff as the person inhales.
d) Repeat until 4 puffs have been given.
Step If there is little or no improvement, repeat
If there is still little or no improvement, call
to have asthma. No harm is likely to result from giving a blue reliever
puffer to someone who does not have asthma.
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