Although the occurrence of medical emergencies that are life-and-death matters is quite rare in the school population, certain medical illnesses and injuries do occur while children are in school and require immediate assessment. Since it is unrealistic to expect a school nurse or physician to be immediately available for this assessment, school administrations should develop a set of written policies and procedures to handle these emergencies until such time as a nurse or physician can be contacted or be physically present. Two or more regular members of the school staff, depending on school size, should be designated as the responsible persons to handle the assessment, and one member should be available at all times to give whatever first aid is needed. These persons should be trained in a standard Red Cross course, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or have training as an emergency medical technician. This training should be updated as often as necessary to keep them competent in this area.
An emergency medical kit should be available in each school and checked regularly by the responsible staff persons who are trained in this area.
A detailed account of medical emergencies in school, including a list of equipment necessary for an emergency medical kit and how to classify medical emergencies and their treatment, is contained in chapter 18 of the school health manual of the American Academy of Pediatrics.1
The emergencies related to participation in athletics should be handled by a member of the athletic staff. Chapter 15 of the school health manual details procedures for management of athletic injuries.1
- Copyright © 1978 by the American Academy of Pediatrics