Welcome to Nurses Notes! I will use this Wiki page to keep you informed and up to date on important medical information that I feel will benefit your students. You will not be given specific health information regarding your students at this site.
Naloxone (Narcan) is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications. The nurses are allowed to administer this. The police officer and our administrators are also trained in giving this medication. It is located on the Nurse emergency cart in her office - in a blue bag taped to the cart. Our version is to be given up the nose. If you have been trained to give this - you are permitted to administer this medication to a suspected overdose victim. This medication will not hurt someone if the underlying problem is not an overdose. It is better to give it than withhold it.At present the School Health Division of the Department of Health lists two medications that are considered emergency medications that any lay person can administer if they have been given instruction. Those 2 medications are: Asthma Inhalers and Auto-Injectors for Epinephrine (aka Epi Pen). I have included the videos below: (They are short and sweet)
Asthma Inhalers: (If the student doesn't have the spacer (clear tube) you still follow all the same steps.)Epi Pens: Epi Pen Video There are Epi Pen boxes (yellow) mounted on the outside wall of the cafeteria (more near middle school restrooms) and one mounted on the wall below the ramp from the highschool to the middle school. There is one Adult Epi Pen and one Jr Epi Pen in each box. There is a red lock on the boxes that can be easily broken (just twist it) if you need in the box to give the medication. If you use the med call 911 - they may advise you to give another dose while the ambulance is trying to reach you. Have someone run to get the other Epi Pen if needed.ALLERGIC REACTIONSKnow It. See It. Treat It. (video - recognizing anaphylaxis)
Another good video that will also link you to others.
What Happens During Anaphylaxis?
Epinephrine Auto-Injector (used to treat severe allergic reactions) The only thing I would like to point out on is that all Epi pens (brand or generic) come in a hard protective case, so you DO need to remove the pen from the case - on the video at the beginning it shows the case lying behind the actual medication pen. Children weighing under 66lbs are prescribed "Epi Pen Jr" and those above 66lbs are prescribed an "Epi Pen" I DO have an Epi Jr and and a reg adult Epi Pen here to use for anyone that would be having a severe allergic reaction. It is required that if a student has been prescribed an Epi Pen they must bring one in to my office - I mainly have the extra ones here for a "surprise" reaction or 1st time allergic response. If the Epi Pen or Jr Epi is EVER used 911 must be called for that person - rebound allergic responses occur so even though the Epi possibly worked that patient MUST be taken via ambulance to the ER. All the Epi Pens are in my inner office (where my desk is) on the wall in a clear shoe organizer - accessable to anyone needing them.I do have a fake Auto-Injector if you would like to practice. Stop by sometime to try it! (Painless - I Promise!) .
As you may be aware, the School Health Division also requests that schools look at fieldtrip lists to see when it is necessary and appropriate to send a nurse. Administration and I look at particular health concerns of students involved and make a decision as to when a nurse is needed. It is not necessary to send a nurse on a trip for the sole purpose of observing asthma inhaler usage or for the administration of an autoinjector medication. It is very important for you to review the above mentioned videos in case you would need to intervene with these two medications.
Severe Food Allergies, Diabetic Emergency, Beesting Allergies, Heat Sensitivity, Asthma, and Seizures. If you have been informed you have a student with the above issue(s) please take the time to review the following information. Please also remind your substitutes who in your class has a serious medical condition.
The following six statements provide a simple yet comprehensive introduction to the basic medical facts:
- A food allergy is an overreaction of the immune system that can affect any system of the body, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and skin systems.
- Ingestion of even a minute amount of the allergen can trigger this overreaction and cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild nausea or itching to anaphylaxis (a systemic allergic reaction that can kill within minutes).
- There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of the allergenic food is the only way to prevent a potentially life-threatening reaction.
- An allergic reaction can occur up to two hours (and sometimes, though rarely, up to four hours) after ingestion.
- The severity and progression of an allergic reaction is unpredictable: a seemingly mild reaction can turn fatal within minutes.
- Anaphylactic reactions are treated by prompt administration of epinephrine. Time is of the essence and may mean the difference between life and death. Transport to an emergency room must follow. Repeat administration of epinephrine may be required.
Because strict avoidance of the allergen is the only way to prevent reactions, it is crucial to make the classroom/lunchroom/playground safe for food-allergic students.
- Read food ingredient labels.
- Check the ingredients in art supplies and in other products that may contain allergens, such as soaps or hand lotions.
- Prevent cross-contamination by using proper cleaning methods for tables and other surfaces.
- Teach students to wash hands before and after contact with food.
Early recognition of symptoms saves lives. Every allergic reaction is different. It is critical to know that a child experiencing anaphylaxis may show no skin symptoms whatsoever. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction include:
- Mouth - Itching, tingling, or swelling of lips, tongue, mouth
- Skin - Hives, itchy rash, swelling of the face or extremities
- Gut - Nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea
- Throat - Hacking cough, tightening of throat, hoarseness
- Lung - Shortness of breath, repetitive cough, wheezing
- Heart - Thready pulse, low blood pressure, fainting, pale, blueness
Students identified as having a known severe food allergy and have submitted a physician approved emergency plan will have their own emergency protocols posted in the nurses office on the bulletin board. Homeroom teachers of elementary students will be given a copy of the plan. Student's Epi pens are in the inner portion of the nurse's office attached to the med cabinet - accessable to anyone if an emergency would arise. There is also a "General Use" Epi pen adult and an Epi pen Jr. available to anyone experiencing a life threatening allergic reaction. If an Epi Pen was used - 911 MUST be called - rebound symptoms are very common and 911 must be called to transport student/staff to the emergecy room. If a student would happen to ingest a food they have a known allergy to - please call for the nurse immediately. The nurse will come to the student.
If a student is identified as having a nut allergy - strict avoidance of any and all nuts is required. If a student is only allergic to tree nuts -please review the following list to assure strict avoidance of tree nuts.
Quick reference to common tree nut names
Complete list of tree nut names, botanical names and derivative names for tree nuts:
Anacardium occidentale (Anacardiaceae) [botanical name, Cashew]
Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) [botanical name, Brazil nut]
Butyrospermum Parkii [botanical name, Shea nut]
Canarium ovatum Engl. in A. DC. (Burseraceae) [botanical name, Pili nut]
Carya illinoensis (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Pecan]
Carya spp. (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Hickory nut]
Castanea pumila (Fagaceae) [botanical name, Chinquapin]
Castanea spp. (Fagaceae) [botanical name, Chestnut (Chinese, American, European, Seguin)]
Chestnut (Chinese, American, European, Seguin)
Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae (alt. Palmae)) [botanical name, Coconut]
Corylus spp. (Betulaceae) [botanical name, Filbert/hazelnut]
Fagus spp. (Fagaceae) [botanical name, beech nut]
Ginkgo biloba L. (Ginkgoaceae) [botanical name, Ginko nut]
Juglans cinerea (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Butternut]
Juglans spp. (Juglandaceae) [botanical name, Walnut, Butternut, Heartnut]
Karite (shea nut)
Litchi chinensis Sonn. Sapindaceae [botanical name, Lichee nut]
Macadamia spp. (Proteaceae) [botanical name, Macadamia nut/Bush nut]
Natural and artificial flavoring
Natural nut extract (for example, almond extract)
Nut butters (e.g., Almond butter, Hazelnut butter, Brazil nut butter, Macadamia nut butter, Pistachio nut butter, Shea nut butter, Karike butter, as well as other nut butters)
Nut oil (e.g., Walnut oil as well as other nut oils)
Pine nut (Indian, piñon, pinyon, pigndi, pigñolia, pignon nuts)
Piñon or Piñon nut
Pinus spp. (Pineaceae) [botanical name, Pine nut/piñon nut]
Pistacia vera L. (Anacardiaceae) [botanical name, Pistachio]
Prunus dulcis (Rosaceae) [bontanical name, almond]
Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn. (Sapotaceae) [botanical name, Shea nut]
Walnut (English, Persian, Black, Japanese, California)
May contain tree nuts:
Natural and Artificial flavoring
What is type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which the body destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is required by the body to use glucose, the simple sugar into which foods are broken down by our digestive system. Without insulin, the body starves to death. It's important to note that everyone is insulin-dependent. People without diabetes make insulin in their pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes must inject insulin.
Children with diabetes face two problems that teachers need to understand: hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. You should learn the symptoms and how to treat each.
- Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the blood sugar level is too low, due to too much insulin, too little food, or too much exercise. Children with low blood sugar sometimes behave erratically or act sleepy, and are often very hungry and shaky. Low blood sugar must be treated immediately by giving the child foods with simple sugars, such as glucose tablets, fruit juice or regular (NOT diet) soda. If you suspect that a child has low blood sugar, do not leave the child unattended because the child can lose consciousness. Never send a child who you suspect has a low blood sugar to the nurse alone.
- Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, occurs when the blood sugar level is too high, due to too little insulin or too much food. Children with high blood sugar sometimes act lethargic and sleepy, and are often very thirsty and need to go to the bathroom a lot. High blood sugar is treated by giving additional insulin and sugar-free drinks, such as water or diet (NOT regular) soda. Children with diabetes must be given free access to water and the bathroom whenever they feel the need. Prolonged hyperglycemia due to insufficient insulin can lead to a very serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to coma and death.
Signs that indicate blood sugar may be too high or too low are:
Increased Thirst, Headache, Blurred vision, Difficulty Concentrating, Frequent Urination, Weakness, Nausea, Extreme Hunger, Feeling Nervous or Jittery, Cold, Clammy Skin, Sweating not Caused by Exercise, Rapid Heartbeat, Numbness or Tingling of fingers or lips, Trembling, Confusion, Difficulty walking or talking (staggering or slurred speech).
Children with type 1 diabetes are treated with insulin taken via injections or using an insulin pump, blood sugar monitoring, a carefully managed
diet and exercise. Frequent blood glucose tests help determine the correct amount of insulin to take and help identify low and high blood sugars.
Many kids with diabetes use an insulin pump instead of taking injections. An insulin pump is about the size of a pager. Kids can wear it on their belt or carry it in their pocket. A thin tube connects the pump to a small canula (thin tube) inserted under the skin that delivers insulin continuously. Kids who use an insulin pump give themself extra insulin to cover each meal that they eat.
Blood Sugar Monitoring
Children with diabetes check their blood sugar many times per day. A blood sugar check involves pricking a finger with a lancet and placing a drop of blood on a special test strip. A blood sugar meter analyzes the test strip and reports the blood sugar level, usually in less than one minute. This process is called blood sugar testing, blood sugar checking or blood sugar monitoring. They all mean the same thing.
Some children with diabetes are required to do blood sugar checks during the school day. Many do a check before lunch.
Children with diabetes usually follow a meal plan. Meal plans come in many varieties, and is usually tailored specifically to the needs of each child. Parents should also provide morning and afternoon snacks for those children with diabetes who require them. These snacks usually consist of protein and
carbohydrates, such as crackers with peanut butter.
All children with diabetes must be allowed to have ready access to emergency glucose to counter the effects of hypoglycemia. Left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, convulsions and coma. Also, teachers must allow kids with diabetes to eat snacks when prescribed by their doctor. All identified diabetic students will have their medications, emergency glucose, snacks, and juice available in the inner portion of the nurse's office - unlocked in clearly labeled bins.
Exercise is important for all kids, and kids with diabetes are no exception. Diabetes does not prevent a child from participating in any exercise or outdoor activity. Gym class (physical education) and recess can, however, be a challenging time for kids with diabetes since exercise, like insulin, works to lower blood sugar. Teachers should know if a child has diabetes so they can provide help if needed.
Children with diabetes often eat an additional snack before participating in strenuous exercise. A good rule of thumb is 15 grams of carbohydrates for each 30 minutes of exercise.
If gym or recess is immediately before lunch, for example, kids with diabetes should be allowed to eat a snack before participating.
Some teachers think that kids with diabetes sometimes pretend to feel low or high to get out of the classroom, or to get out of an activity that they do not
like. This is very unlikely. Most kids with diabetes don't want to be different, and they don't want their diabetes to cause them to be treated differently. If you think this is a problem, speak with the child's parents, but do not deny the child's request for water or a blood sugar test.
A severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to bee stings is potentially life-threatening and requires emergency treatment. About 3 percent of people who are stung by a bee or other insect quickly develop anaphylaxis. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Skin reactions in parts of the body other than the sting area, including hives and itching and flushed or pale skin (almost always present with anaphylaxis)
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the throat and tongue
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
People who have a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting have a 30 to 60 percent chance of anaphylaxis the next time they're stung. Students identified as having a known severe beesting allergy and have submitted a physician approved emergency plan will have their own emergency protocols posted in the nurses office on the bulletin board. Homeroom teachers of elementary students will be given a copy of the plan. Student's Epi pens are in the inner portion of the nurse's office attached to the med cabinet - accessable to anyone if an emergency would arise. There is also a "General Use" Epi pen adult and an Epi pen Jr. available to anyone experiencing a life threatening allergic reaction. If an Epi Pen was used - 911 MUST be called - rebound symptoms are very common and 911 must be called to transport student/staff to the emergecy room. If a student with a noted beesting allergy is stung - please call for the nurse immediately. The nurse will come to the student.
If a child is identified as having a heat sensitivty please ensure that the student rests and rehydrates with water as soon as the student mentions they are feeling affected. The child should be accompanied by an adult or responsible student to the nurse's office.
Asthma is a chronic, or long-term, disease that inflames and narrows the airways of the lungs. Asthma causes a variety symptoms that can worsen at any time, making breathing difficult. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma. The main components of asthma are inflammation and constriction. Both components affect the airways of your lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. When exposed to a trigger, one may feel changes in the airways. At the same time, there may be changes to the airways that one doesn't feel. The more severe the inflammation and constriction get, and the longer they go untreated, the worse asthma symptoms may be and the harder they may be to control.
A whistling sound usually heard when breathing in or out.
A cough that may not go away and often occurs or worsens at night.
Feeling as if something is squeezing or sitting on the chest.
Feeling as though one can't catch their breath. One may feel breathless, out of breath, or can't get enough air out of the lungs.
What to do in case of an attack
1. Any activity the student is performing must be stopped immediately.
2. Seat the student comfortably and try to calm them down.
3. Call for the nurse. If the inhaler is in the classroom and the child has permission to administer the inhaler independently, give the medication according to his or her medication plan. The parents will also be notified immediately for further discussion of appropriate interventions. 911 will be notified if the medication gives no relief (or there was no medication available) and respiratory compromise continues (see symptoms above).
A very informative website I suggest visiting is Epilepsy First Aid Another site to help younger children understand seizures is Classroom Plans for Understanding Seizures / This site even gives lesson ideas/plans on helping other students understand when they have witnessed someone having a seizure.
Seizures happen when the electrical system of the brain malfunctions. Instead of discharging electrical energy in a controlled manner, the brain cells keep firing. The result may be a surge of energy through the brain, causing unconsciousness and contractions of the muscles. If only part of the brain is affected, it may cloud awareness, block normal communication, and produce a variety of undirected, uncontrolled, unorganized movements. Most seizures last only a minute or two, although confusion afterwards may last longer. If seizures are prolonged, or occur in a series, there is an increased risk of status epilepticus. The term literally means a continuous state of seizure. If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, there is a risk of it progressing to status epilepticus. Status epilepticus is a medical emergency. It requires hospital treatment to bring the seizures under control.
There are many different types of seizures. People may experience just one type or more than one. The kind of seizure a person has depends on which part and how much of the brain is affected by the electrical disturbance that produces seizures. Sometimes a person has an "aura" or has a feeling that a seizure is about to happen. Some people smell something, a headache may come on quickly, some feel a tingling in an arm or leg. If a student mentions they feel a seizure could happen, either send the student to the nurse with a reliable student or call the nurse to your classroom.
A child who has partial seizures that affect his emotions or sense of the world around him may be intensely frightened by the episodes. Children with this type of epilepsy need lots of reassurance and an adult to keep track of how often the seizures occur. If they become prolonged and frequent, emergency treatment may be necessary.
If you have a student having a seizure/convulsions call for the nurse immediately and state who and what the issue is. Some students have medicine prescribed to them for seizures and the nurse needs to retreive the medication from the locked box to bring it along. This is very important - please state who the person is having the seizure and ask another person to mark down the time the seizure started.
Managing complex partial seizures(convulsions) requires gentle monitoring during the seizure, keeping hazards out of the way, reassuring the child in a calm voice and keeping track of how long the seizure lasts. Move any objects out of the way to prevent further injuries. If possible, cradle the seizing person's head in your lap, ask two reliable students to alert the nurse immediately. During a seizure, urinating and vomiting can occur so for privacy please ask the other students to step out into the hall or remove the other students from the close vicinity of the patient. Do not try to restrain the seizing person, do not put anything near the mouth, after the seizure ends place the student on their side. Stay clam. The student will be very drowsy afterward. The nurse will come to you and your student.
AED's Are you ready to save a life?Meyersdale School District has 4 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) AEDs are located permanently outside the Elementary gym and In the High School Lobby in boxes mounted on a wall. Another AED travels with the Athletic Director and an older version AED stays in the nurse's office and is located on the emergency cart. Please review the AED use video frequently (the model of AED in the video applies to all the AEDs except the older version in the nurse's office - but even that one is very similar and will walk you through the emergency.Stop the Bleed Tourniquets are also with the mounted AEDs. The nurse's "Stop the Bleed" kit is on-top of the fridge in her office with an emergency kit.