British Columbia backtracks on school staff administering seizure drugs

For almost six months, several families in British Columbia have been fighting with the Ministry of Health to bring a life-saving anti-epileptic drug back into schools.

“We can either send our child to school and risk serious injury or even death, or we can keep our child home from school and he is not entitled to an education like all other children” said Michelle Gaudet in an interview with CTV News in April.

Last spring, many families across the province were told that school staff would no longer administer midazolam to their children in the event of a crisis.

Gaudet and other families launched an awareness campaign, garnering attention and support from the medical community, including the BC Epilepsy Society. They also received over 27,000 signatures on an online petition supporting their cause.

The provincial government has defended the decision, with Health Minister Adrian Dix telling CTV News in April: “If you haven’t had a seizure in a year, your response to the drug is also unclear.

“We have a plan, an approach based on the advice we’re getting from the neurology group at BC Children’s Hospital,” he added. “I’m not going to change that from that advice.”

But now, according to a letter sent to parents across the province, the Department of Health appears to be restoring access to life-saving seizure medication.

“Going forward, non-medical school staff will continue to be able to administer seizure relief medication,” reads a letter signed by Kristy Anderson, assistant deputy minister of the Hospital Services Division. and provincial health.

“But it won’t be attached to a nursing license as a delegated task. Non-medical school staff will instead be covered by Section 14(b) of the Health Professions Act which allows persons not designated as medical professionals to give first aid or temporary assistance in an emergency. .

Some parents tell CTV News they are pleased with the announcement but say the frustrating battle should have been avoided.

“I think for a lot of parents whose children have epilepsy, this summer has been very stressful,” Gaudet said.

“It’s been stressful to say the least,” said Rista Koffas, whose daughter is suffering from seizures.

“They really should consult with parents before making any changes.”

Although the letter indicates that the drug will be available, there may be procedural changes to the process. Gaudet and other parents told CTV News they expect to receive more information in the coming days.

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