glucagon legislationSo many question after friend post Rhode Island House Representative H5118. Should find answer.

  • huh? Is glucagon currently not allowed in schools?
  • if I were alone, and happened upon my own passed-out diabetic child, would I pause to test or go right for the glucagon? I was picturing I’d go right for the glucagon
  • what are the rules for epipens in school, and why is this different? (Aside from that pesky mixing)
  • what is hyperglycemic shock, and could it develop during the course of one school day?

And learn two thing:

  • Prefacing a statement with “as a medical professional” has the opposite of the intended effect
  • Someone with T1 kids in mind is busy at the State House. Nice.
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26 responses to “H5118

  1. In our area we are not allowed glucagon in our schools. However some parents have great principals and have made arrangements that allow them to store glucagon in the school but only for the parent to use if and or when they get there before the paramedics. There is no training for the staff…on any diabetes device for that matter. We don’t have a 504 plan in Ontario, there is nothing for our kids. It’s very scary and CRAZY!!


    • I wonder why it’s like this. Can you have epipens?


      • The staff at the Ontario school where Kenny goes have been trained to use epipens. I’m not sure if that’s the case all over. I carry glucagon in my purse and try to stay close to the school (I live right around the corner) most of the day so I can get there to help him even before an ambulance, just in case. I’m still not certain that most of the staff there realize how dangerous this disease could be.


  2. People are so good at showing their ignorance aren’t they? I also enjoy the type-o “As a medical profession”, um, yeah… And I love the idiot at the end telling people to dial 911. Sorry these things totally get to me. It’s just people who really DON’T know what they are talking about spouting off.

    And I’m with you, go for the glucagon- deal with high sugar later… duh Sure it isn’t good for you but neither is your brain shutting down because it has no glucose to function on, seems like basic functions like heart beat and breathing are more pressing…


  3. ha! you’re right. starting with “as a medical professional” DID have the opposite affect.


  4. Pretty sure we can conclude just because you are a “medical professional” doesn’t mean you know jack about T1D! Ey! Ey! Ey! I am pretty sure even as a medical professional if you don’t understand best not to use your medical professional advice…it just makes me wanna run in the opposite direction! Haha!


  5. Pam

    Two or three years ago, our state passed legislation allowing people other than the school nurse to be trained in glucagon administration. Prior to that, only a liscenced nurse could give it. Alternately, 911 was dialed (and hopefully a parent). Don’t know if that’s RI’s current law. Love that my daughter’s most recent 2 homeroom teachers were trained and could give if the nurse was MIA.


    • I’d like that. I wonder if the teachers *offer* to learn how to use it or if they are *required* to learn? My spouse is a teacher and I know he would feel very uncomfortable giving someone else’s kid a shot.


  6. Sara

    If they are “medical professionals” I would like to know exactly what profession and how to avoid them. My opinions on glucagon (and one I believe many/most people with diabetes share), is shoot me now and ask questions later. During a single school day, the odds that HYPERglycemia would cause someone to pass out is very very very (very) low. If I am high, glucagon will make me higher. Oh well. If I have passed out because of HYPOglycemia, glucagon will keep me alive. I would even hazard to say that I would not want them to even test first. I have never had a low that was bad enough that I could not self-treat. I have never needed glucagon. I hope any medical professionals nearby are not scared of the lifesaving medication if I ever need it in their presence.


  7. Pingback: {Type 1 Tuesday}

  8. Nicole P

    I hate when people make bloodsugar and diabetes sound so simplistic – if you find someone in diabetic shock it’s either hypo or hyperglycemia – ignores that if a person is in shock from hyperglycemia they would HAVE to have been sick for all or most of a day – and the symptoms wouldn’t be just passing out cold. That’s pretty exclusive to hypoglycemia. I hate when these discussions are had on social networking sites – because I think a lot of misinformation gets put out there. “epipen of diabetes” I like that.


    • That’s what I thought! The House of Representatives seems to have taken down the Glucagon Bill opinions from their fb page. So at least there’s that. I need to find out more.


      • Nicole P

        What’s weird is that this bill – or forms of it – have been in the news before…

        Some info here:


        Text of the bill as it currently stands:



      • NP, thanks! “the RI General Assembly passed a law in July 2008 pertaining to the Health and Safety of Pupils that allows non-medical school personnel in the absence of the School Nurse, to administer glucagon to a child with diabetes who is experiencing a diabetes-related emergency.” <—I need to read more to understand why it's being revisited. Could it be that they forgot they already did this in 2008? I wish I could open their link to a Glucagon training video. No doubt I'd benefit–if only there were someplace on the web that was especially for videos…


      • Nicole P

        Does it strike you as odd that the bill doesn’t even get the medical terminology right? Diabetic shock?? How about extreme hypoglycemia or low bloodsugar? I don’t understand the big deal – considering they absolve EVERYONE and their brothers from any liability should it be used improperly.


  9. Ahahha you’re totally right about the medical professional part. Hilarious!


  10. Apparently this is true in MA as well, only the school nurse can administer glucagon … I was told it’s because there is mixing and dosing involved … Which according to the school nurse is not true of an epipen … I raged about this for weeks this fall but was unable to get the school to budge … I did discover that each state has different laws … And seems like Utah is the state I want to move to


    • If glucagon is mixed wrong (eg not fully dissolved), is it very dangerous? Or would the patient just not get the benefit of the full amount? I’d rather have someone do something—even in a not exactly right way—than nothing. Right? I mean, I’m pretty sure even a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIKE ME might not mix it exactly to specifications in an emergency.

      Thanks for the Massachusetts perspective!


  11. Reblogged this on Fight Like A Taylor and commented:
    From a fellow blogger; I totally agree.


  12. brilliant post and comments here, thanks. afaik, glucagon is automatically ok in schools here but i could be wrong. so much information. glad someone in the state house is working on stuff up there though.


  13. Interesting legislation to watch. Yet, on a more scary note, it’s also interesting to see the “medical professional” use that. While I completely adore nurses and school nurses, I wonder if this isn’t one of those professionals responding in CYA mode – kind of like the whole insulin-injecting in California’s schools. Shocking. And I agree with Sara, about wanting and needing to avoid this “medical professional” at all costs. Even in the event of a hypo (or hyperglycemic shock, as she’s apparently experienced at knowing about – something I don’t think I’ve experienced or heard of in my three decades with type 1). Great post!


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