Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diagnoses, with nearly 1% of U.S. children having a lifetime prevalence of epilepsy.2 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990, and Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004, abled the majority of children with epilepsy to attend school outside of the home.
The goal of the clinical report “Rescue Medicine for Epilepsy in Education Settings” is to help prescribing professionals become more aware of issues school personnel may face who care for a student diagnosed with epilepsy.
Action plans are often written by the school nurse based off of the prescribing physician’s medical orders, with the intention of having school personnel educated in how to appropriately react when a student has a seizure. Although school personnel are often trained in basic first aid including what to do when someone has a seizure, an action plan needs to be created for students with epilepsy so that personnel respond effectively to that particular child’s needs.
Because every student is different, every action plan can be different and might include information about a prescribed seizure rescue medication. Prescribing physicians have multiple options for prescription medication to stop a seizure, however, there are conditions with the medications that could prevent school staff from feeling comfortable administering the medication in the event of a child having a seizure. For instance, Rectal Diazepam Gel is one of the most widely used seizure rescue medications however it requires the patient to be partially undressed, which could present a problem for school personnel. With other medications administering the medication can be oral or buccal administration. Although these methods would most likely be more comfortable for school personnel, there are still factors the administrator would need to take into consideration before administering the seizure rescue medication such as clenched teeth, copious secretions, and emesis during the seizure.
For more information about creating an action plan for school, and seizure rescue medication options, read “Rescue Medicine for Epilepsy in Education Settings” from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If you would like to know more about Epilepsy check out some of the following resources:
- Epilepsy Foundation
- Mayo Clinic
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- American Epilepsy Society
- Hartman AL, Di Laura Devore C. Rescue medicine for epilepsy in Education Settings. Pediatrics. 2016; 137(1):e20153876
- Russ SA, Larson K, Halfon N. A national profile of childhood epilepsy and seizure disorder. Pediatrics. 2012; 129(2):256-264