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Re: [IPk] school from hell (was DLA)

Hi there,

First, I agree with the criticism of stuffy school authorities and ignorant
staff. Here we developed a video which was distributed to all schools, but
of course it isn't enough.

Second, the problem with hypostop is not that the child can't suck, but that
he/she can't swallow properly when semi-conscious or unconscious. Liquids in
particular are VERY likely to go down the wrong way, and may cause an
unusual chest infection. The child won't choke, because he or she will still
have a cough reflex unless very unconscious, but the risk of aspiration
(i.e. stuff getting into the lungs and causing infection) meant they had to
withdraw hypostop and stop recommending it.

On the other hand, the risks of prolonged hypos are a problem too, and many
parents have used firm honey rubbed into the cheek for years with a lot of
success. While I'm not recommending it, it isn't a sin to use it when
nothing better is available, and glucagon has its own problems (slow,
sometimes inadequate effectiveness). So clearly don't feel you've been doing
the wrong thing for years, cos you haven't!

With schools, I find it hard to understand the fear around a child being at
school, but from what you say a lot of it (too much of it) is due to
completely preventable things. First, school discipline is inappropriate in
diabetes, simple as that, so teach your kids to behave and react properly in
most respects, but in diabetes to do exactly what YOU want them to do,
ignoring the teacher if necessary. Don't ask teachers to go along with this,
TELL them to! While the school authority has responsibility for discipline,
this does not in any way override a child's right to protection from
physical harm at the school. If there was an earthquake, it would be
perfectly correct for all kids to break the rules and run like hell (just an
example!). Teachers, principals, or anyone else at school have no authority
to interfere with a child's self-management of diabetes, it is as simple as
that, and people need to be told this in uncompromising language. This is an
area in which diabetes associations clearly need to do more.

I would very much like to hear from those on the list about whether Diabetes
UK or the DFI have been helpful or even been approached in the past, and it
would be good to hear from a teacher, if one is available, to see the 'other

I think teachers are generally a bit too nervous of medical conditions, and
feel it's better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing. Still, they do
look after lots of kids for 30 hours a week, so they should have some first
aid skills. In enlightened schools this should include simple care of
nose-bleeds AND hypos! So fight on, parents; the system isn't working, so
change it.

Wishing you a lot of luck and support through your diabetes associations,

Tony O'Sullivan
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jackie Jacombs" <email @ redacted>
To: "Insulin Pump List" <email @ redacted>
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: [IPk] school from hell (was DLA)

> Hi Barbara
> I think that they have just changed the instructions for the
administration of
> Hypo Stop and the like. Three years ago we were told to give hypo stop if
> child was unconscious and to place it between the cheek and gums and
> it in. Recently we were told that the new instructions (I dont know if
> comes from the manufactures of Hypo Stop or elsewhere) say NOT to put
> in the mouth if the person is unconscious.  I have always been able to get
> Sasha to suck from a straw even when she has been fitting.  She is semi
> conscious usually.  I sit her up and she can still drink.  Not from a cup
> wouldn't think.  Sucking is one of the earliest, primitive reflexes and I
> assume this is why she can still do this and not really be aware of what
> going on.  I discovered this when during her very first seizure I totally
> messed up the glucagon and bent the needle.  I just grabbed her and tried
> get her to drink and she could.  I have used the glucagon twice since. I
> sure that over the years many people did do what your mum did and you have
> done for Danielle and it was fine.  It is only recently that they have
> saying NOT to do this.  So now if your child become unconscious they are
> supposed to call an ambulance.  That's if they notice;-(
> I wouldn't trust any of the teachers to do an injection or oversee one, I
> think it is too big a responsibility  and of course school rarely have a
> school nurse due to cut backs.  Our school nurse is based somewhere else
> the only contact is about the nit population.
> Jackie
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <email @ redacted>
> To: <email @ redacted>
> Sent: 10 May 2002 22:56
> Subject: Re: [IPk] school from hell (was DLA)
> > Hello Jackie
> >
> > We have been in touch many times about our children (Danielle and me
> > diabetic).  I was told that teachers are not authorised to give
> > and that it is up to us mums or dads to go into the school to do it or
> > school have to phone an ambulance.
> >
> > The worst thing is that I have just been told by Danielle's doctor that
> > have been endangering her life by trying to give her something orally
> > she has not been conscious.  It's a long story, but when Danielle was
> > fitting, I gave her the hypostop by rubbing it into the inside of her
> > and some of it was going down her throat.  He told me that I should have
> > given her glucagon if she was fitting.  I went to the diabetes team and
> > them that I didn't like the doctor talking over me and not listening to
> > I had to say.  I explained what I meant and was told that I was doing it
> > wrong!  I couldn't believe it!  I have grown up with diabetes in the
> > and I have brought my past knowledge along with the new things to help
> the
> > treatment of my daughter.  The thing is - I knew enough so I thought and
> > the team thought - so I didn't need to be told absolutely everything
> > was to know and I treated Danielle's hypos as my mum used to treat me
and my
> > sister years ago.
> >
> > I am due to go to the school again shortly to see if they fully
> > what a hypo is and what 'unconscious' is because I was unaware of the
> > difference.
> >
> > Barbara
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