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Mobility Impaired Evacuation

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NurseHeatherBSNRN has 6 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing.

593 Profile Views; 35 Posts

Wheelchair bound student with brittle bones. Most classes will be upstairs. Day to day, student uses the elevator. However, does anyone have suggestions on evac plans and/or evac aids to use in the event of emergency? 

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

686 Posts; 2,766 Profile Views

For fires our local fire department has told us anyone unable to get down stairs themselves should be left in a "safe zone" which for us is our fireproof stairwell.  Your fire dept should know where this is and that's the first place they'll go to recover anyone.

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SaltineQueen specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

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Tough one...most of the things I've seen/investigated (sleds) would be tricky due to the brittle bone situation...but I guess you worry more about dying in a fire than broken bones.  There are evac-chairs but they're pretty costly from what I remember.  What do parents say?  Maybe get input from your local fire department that would be likely to respond.

https://evac-chair.com/

https://www.amazon.com/slp/evacuation-chair/secrtepq8k7topa

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NurseHeatherBSNRN has 6 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing.

35 Posts; 593 Profile Views

10 minutes ago, SaltineQueen said:

Tough one...most of the things I've seen/investigated (sleds) would be tricky due to the brittle bone situation...but I guess you worry more about dying in a fire than broken bones.  There are evac-chairs but they're pretty costly from what I remember.  What do parents say?  Maybe get input from your local fire department that would be likely to respond.

https://evac-chair.com/

https://www.amazon.com/slp/evacuation-chair/secrtepq8k7topa

Already have a call in to FD, waiting for call back. Parents have said "if it's a real fire, can someone just pick her up?" (If it's real, we'll get her out or die trying). I'm very concerned about the sleds for that reason. However, in a true emergency, bones can heal. 

I'm leaning toward Brisket's suggestion of designated safe zone. Trying to get any ideas while I impatiently wait for FD to call back.

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OyWithThePoodles has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Med-surg, school nursing..

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We use sleds, but of course, the brittle bones isn't an issue.

We do have another kiddo that is smaller and staff has been told to just carry the student. 

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CanIcallmymom has 4 years experience.

381 Posts; 1,109 Profile Views

We do not have a 2nd floor on my campus, however our elementary campus has multiple floors. They use an evac chair. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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One size definitely does not fit all here. Great ideas! I had no idea about that safe zone. Now I'm wondering!!

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Flare is a ASN, BSN and specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

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As a long time firefighter, I will add that while I think that the stair chair sounds like a great intervention, it requires that the people using it be familiar with it.  This isn't to say that you can't train lay people, but if they're anything like the staff that I have encountered, they would panic during an actual event, perhaps forgetting one of the several straps or would feel panic in trying to get this child into the chair and properly strapped in while there is a fire alarm blaring.  Then there is the concern of the people being trained not being available when they are needed.  You can get back-ups and back ups for the back ups, but then there is a concern that communication is lacking and No one realizes they are "on call" at that time.  

Sheltering in place will probably be fine 90% of the time, but it's the time that it's not that is problematic and a plan needs to be in place.  Ensure your first responders know about this child.  They may already have a stair chair or an idea of how to best respond to this situation taking their resources into account.  

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

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The para for my kiddo with OI carries a radio everywhere.  She can quickly advise what stairwell they are are in. The kids who are on crutches or in a w/c and non weightbearing, also get one for the days they may need assist with evac.

I also do a Google doc with my admin that identifies where each kid "should" be expected to be at any given time. As we all know, they are sometimes not there! But admin can look accordingly, and they kids are educated on how to use the radio to identify where they are.

Of course this all works best when I know about a kid on crutches who cannot sef evacuate...you know, like whan the parent forgets to tell me...

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tining has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nurse.

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We have a stryker chair on third and second floor, however if the stryker chair is on the other side of the fire?  My building is almost 100 years old and we do not have the safety stairwell.  Very tricky situation. 

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JenTheSchoolRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in School nursing.

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None of our stairwells are good safe zones. Also in a very old building.

We have one student in a situation like this sorta. No brittle bones, mobility issues. We arranged with parents that student will be lifted and carried by a two adult assist if an absolute emergency situation. We do not have a stair chair, though it is on my list to consider buying if I have funds left this year. 

Perhaps in this case, may be worth looking at carry options and training staff in lift/carry options best used to reduce student injury? Better off a broken bone vs dead. 

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NurseHeatherBSNRN has 6 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing.

35 Posts; 593 Profile Views

Update: Our local Fire Chief recommends shelter in place in a safe zone, which for us would be stairwells. However, our Special Ed dept is looking into a stair chair with the agreement that if we have a stair chair, it will be used during every fire drill to gain practice and confidence with it.

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