|Posted:||September 10, 2021 09:07 AM|
|From:||Senator David G. Argall|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Volunteer Training for the Administration of Emergency Seizure Treatment in Schools|
|According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 3.4 million Americans who live with epilepsy. According to statistics from the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania, there are approximately 133,000 people living with epilepsy in Pennsylvania. Around 16,900 of these people are children.
Epilepsy causes the brain to produce seizures, which discharge sudden and abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt normal brain functions. Seizures left to continue or repeat, quickly evolve into medical emergencies.
Access to emergency treatments is integral to epileptic students’ safe school attendance and under current state law, only licensed healthcare providers have the ability to administer the treatment needed for immediate, seizure relief.
However, with the shortage of Certified School Nurses (CSNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) across Pennsylvania, administration of this important medication may be difficult while a student is at school. Such shortages negatively impact a student’s school attendance and educational success.
Presently, medical technologies exist that allow for life saving interventions to be administered safely by non-medically licensed persons. Some of these treatments include medication which can be administered, rectally, nasally, buccally, and through sublingual means.
In order to ensure swift action for students with epilepsy, I am introducing legislation that will establish voluntary, emergency treatment training for employees of school districts and county offices of education. This training must be conducted by licensed health care professionals and will focus on treatments specifically designed for use by non-medical persons. In addition, legislation will include the allowance of administration by non-medically licensed personnel.
This legislation is being crafted to serve the best interests of those students who suffer from epilepsy so that they can attend school safely without loss of instructional time when there is no available medical staff during school hours. At the same time, we want to ensure the comfort of those individuals who volunteer to undergo this training and deliver the administration of these treatments.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important effort.
Introduced as SB969