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Family sues school district for death

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by Emergent Emergent (Member)

Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

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Family suing Kennewick school district after son dies from exercise-induced asthma attack

The boy actually deteriorated at home. Apparently he was not supposed to exercise and had a doctor's note. It was during the fires and was smokey. 

The article touches on several things. They are blaming the school for his death, it sounds like because he was excused from gym and was sent there anyway, plus the nurse only gave him one puff instead of two from his inhaler, then sent him back to gym. 

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

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Yikes. Based on him missing so much school/truancy due to the smoke already, perhaps his asthma was in worse condition before he ever went back to school. Maybe the doctor missed something as well...

So sad all around. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Not a fair and balanced article, for sure. That writer needs to go back to school.

This is the second kiddo who's died in the Yakima Valley in five years. Smoke from the fire settles in, no doubt. 

So much seems to have gone wrong...bottom line though, this is why I document on any PRN asthma medication - breath sounds, lip color, posture, PS02, what have you...

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

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The doctor gave him a note. My question is, how could the school be to blame if this death occurred at home? Was it caused by exercise that occurred hours prior?

What about the parents waiting too long to get help? I wonder, if like a lot of young people, he was home alone after school. 

It seems a young person should not have to visit the nurse for an inhaler. And, I'm wondering if our school nurses here would have sent the boy back to class? Do you call the parents if a child uses his inhaler?

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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21 minutes ago, Emergent said:

 

It seems a young person should not have to visit the nurse for an inhaler. And, I'm wondering if our school nurses here would have sent the boy back to class? Do you call the parents if a child uses his inhaler?

Depending on the age and school policy, I may allow the student to keep the inhaler with him/her as long as s/he can demo proper use of the inhaler. Here's the problem - student forgets inhaler, and has no inhaler because there's no back up in clinic. It'd double-edged.

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

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First of all...I think EIB is the most over diagnosed "condition" out there and does a lot of kids a great injustice by shackling them with a "crutch" that isn't necessary. Second...there are legitimate cases of EIB.

As Ruby mentioned, this is a very one-sided story and I think some pertinent information is missing. As with all "asthma" presentations, every one is individual and dealt with according to the nurse assessment, interventions, and medicine/MD orders on hand. I'm reluctant to believe the "one puff" report as it stands; I'm positive there is more to that story. 

No, we don't contact a parent every time a kid uses their inhaler at school.

The subsequent path from school dismissal to "rushed" to the ER to coma is troubling to me.

Loss of a child is every parent's worst nightmare and I shudder at the thought of what grief this family has to be feeling. It's just too bad, as with so many cases today, this poor nurse has been convicted by media and the absolute best outcome for her/him will be to prove themselves innocent after being run through the emotional and financial grinder.

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7 minutes ago, Emergent said:

The doctor gave him a note. My question is, how could the school be to blame if this death occurred at home? Was it caused by exercise that occurred hours prior?

What about the parents waiting too long to get help? I wonder, if like a lot of young people, he was home alone after school. 

It seems a young person should not have to visit the nurse for an inhaler. And, I'm wondering if our school nurses here would have sent the boy back to class? Do you call the parents if a child uses his inhaler?

I don't call every time every student uses it, no, but it can really depend on the situation and asthma action plan. If student had note from doctor about acute asthma symptoms, yes, I'd be calling.

Also: re gym note. Did this make to nurse's office before student went to gym? Because I've lost count of how many times a very valid medical note goes to the main office, is mistaken for just a absence note (which the main office does enter), and I never see it. Or they did flag it, hours later (or the next day) when they get to that pile, and I get it then, which is something too late for an acute issue. 

Did the office share truancy data with the nurse? Because that also doesn't happen either. I have many questions.

But, really, in the end, this is very sad and I feel for this family. I wonder if this student had orders to not be outside if even the commute to school was a great idea. Like I said, so many questions. 

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45 minutes ago, JenTheSchoolRN said:

I don't call every time every student uses it, no, but it can really depend on the situation and asthma action plan. If student had note from doctor about acute asthma symptoms, yes, I'd be calling.

Also: re gym note. Did this make to nurse's office before student went to gym? Because I've lost count of how many times a very valid medical note goes to the main office, is mistaken for just a absence note (which the main office does enter), and I never see it. Or they did flag it, hours later (or the next day) when they get to that pile, and I get it then, which is something too late for an acute issue. 

Did the office share truancy data with the nurse? Because that also doesn't happen either. I have many questions.

But, really, in the end, this is very sad and I feel for this family. I wonder if this student had orders to not be outside if even the commute to school was a great idea. Like I said, so many questions. 

Yes to all of the above!!! Many, many times notes make it to me after the fact. It just irks me, if your child desperately needs an accommodation, pick up the phone and call somebody or walk them in the building and make sure it is taken care of. Kids are kids and really should not be responsible for delivering important documents / info. 

We really don't know enough details to know exactly what happened or who is to blame. I am thinking it is a series of unfortunate events. 

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tining has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

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I agree with all above.  My heart goes out to the family. 

When I receive MD notes stating to excuse from PE, I also notify the teacher that this should include recess as well.  A good front desk person will copy for me, teacher and coaches.  If your front desk person is not great then the flow of information stops.  The parent should have called, & or spoken with school nurse as well.  The "one puff" does not make sense either.  Orders are orders, I don't think I have ever had orders for a single puff.  If the nurse had the MD note, that would have been heads up for her to take more time with this student.  With all that, I agree there is more information in this one sided story.

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MrNurse(x2) has 28 years experience as a ADN and works as a RN.

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I always remember something a coworker told me when her husband developed flesh eating bacteria at a community hospital and ended up institutionalized, always sue the deepest pockets in a chain of events. The lawyer went after the University Medical Center, even though they dealt with the aftermath of the infection. That is what this lawyer is doing. There may be no way to prove the student only took one puff, but that story keeps the blame in the deep pockets.

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