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Antiseizure Medication Law FAQs

Frequently asked questions pertaining to SB 161 antiseizure medication law.
Q: Does SB 161 apply only to diazepam, or also to other medications approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose?

A: The "emergency antiseizure medication" in SB 161 means diazepam rectal gel and emergency medications approved by the federal FDA for patients with epilepsy for the management of seizures by persons other than (1) a physician and surgeon; (2) a physician assistant; (3) a credentialed school nurse; (4) a registered nurse; (5) a certificated public health nurse.

Q: Will school nurses train personnel to administer diastat?

A: If a school district, county office of education, or charter school chooses to participate in a program to provide nonmedical school employees with voluntary emergency medical training to provide, in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school or charter school, emergency medical assistance, including the administration of emergency antiseizure medication to pupils with epilepsy suffering from seizures, any training of volunteers must be done by one or more of the following: (1) a physician and surgeon; (2) a physician assistant; (3) a credentialed school nurse; (4) a registered nurse; (5) a certificated public health nurse.

Q: Should school nurses be assigned to students to administer diastat?

A: The law does not reference "assignment" of personnel to individual students. SB 161 states that, whenever possible, an emergency antiseizure medication should be administered by a school nurse or licensed vocational nurse who has been trained in its administration. A school district, county office of education, or charter school may choose to participate in a program to provide nonmedical school employees with voluntary emergency medical training to provide, in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school or charter school, emergency medical assistance, including the administration of emergency antiseizure medication to pupils with epilepsy suffering from seizures.

Q:  Should schools start training as of January 1?

A:  SB 161 went into effect January 1, 2012. Guidelines on training and supervision are due to be posted by no later than July 1, 2012. The voluntary emergency medical training provided under this program must be consistent with the guidelines that are to be posted by July 1. Any emergency medical assistance provided by trained volunteers under this program must be provided using the guidelines that are to be posted by July 1, 2012.

Q:  Who does the training?

A:  Any training of volunteers must be done by one or more of the following: (1) a physician and surgeon; (2) a physician assistant; (3) a credentialed school nurse; (4) a registered nurse; (5) a certificated public health nurse.

Local educational agencies are encouraged to consult their respective legal counsel as needed if they have any questions relating to SB 161.

Questions:   Coordinated School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0914
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