Lost of Epi-pen by school

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 4:29am
nkepe's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

Wednesday was the last day of school, so we went to ask the school to return our Epi-Pen that has been kept there. Imagine my surprise to find that no-one knew what has happened to my daughter's Epi-Pen.

Has anyone had this experience before? And if so, what is our recourse(Ontarians)? Right now, we are pennyless and my daughter heads off to camp in a few days time. We are do not have any medical drug plan and cannot afford to buy another Epi-Pen just now. Thus far, the school is still checking with others who may have access to the medical box, but their reactions were not reassuring. A lot of humming and haaaing, and saying that's too bad!!!

What can we do? Natalie.

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 4:45am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I would be FURIOUS if I were you! I will see in about thirty minutes whether or not I am in the same boat, however [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (Today is also my daughter's last day at "school")
Try the search function- I am pretty sure that someone else posted about a lost epi pen earlier this month- it may be under the schools forum.
And another thing- I thought that pretty recently saw someone post about Dey/MedicAlert offering assistance to those in need. You might search the Main Board, Living with PA, and also the Products forum for that one.
What a bummer for you! Hope that you find it.

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 4:46am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

I would be very upset if I were you. What if your child had had a reaction and there was no epipen to be found? I would ask them to set up a more secure plan for the future and request that there be some education about allergies and the importance of the medication being kept onhand at all time. Maybe a letter from your Dr. would be good too. Finally, I would request that they pay for a new epipen.

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 6:23am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Dear Natalie,
What an awfull predicament to be in. The school is responsible and should provide you with the funds to replace the lost epi-pen.
Failing that, here is the phone number and web site for Allerex Canada which is the distributor of epi-pens in Canada. You can also try to contact the Trillium Foundation to see if they can help. I tried calling Allerex for you but their office is closed on Fridays, if you like, I can call them again on Monday because there is no long distance charge for me (they are located here).
Tel: (613) 831-7733, FAX (613) 831-7738
Let me know. You could also contact your own doctor who may have more information about obtaining drugs than I do. Let me know and good luck!
Katiee (Wade's mom)

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 6:52am
nkepe's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

Thank you so much for all your responses to date. And yes, Katiee, I would really appreciate it if you could call them for me on Monday.
We are furious. We also realized that they may have needed to use the Epi-Pen and only found out then that it was gone. It was a rather scary imagine.
I do except the school to pay for it. But my concern is that they will say no or deny responsibility. Kwanita has only been diagnosed for three weeks and at first we had only one Epi-Pen, so we collected at the end of each day and returned it each morning.
But we did leave one there after acquiring another one. So the responsibility is theirs. Would there be something that we could do that was quick and legal to ensure that they covered the cost of the Epi-Pen?
In the meantime, I will check the other discussion boards for the other possible lost Epi-Pen.
Thanks everyone.

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 7:30am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Another thought, go directly to the principal, if you don't get the answer you need, go over her head and contact the board Supeintendent and when you call, say that it is URGENT!
You should get a prompt reply.
Also, speak to your pharmacist, he/she might know how to get you a pen more quickly than I do.
I'll call Allerex on Monday for you, you can contact me by e-mail if you like, it's listed under my profile.
Katiee (Wade's mom)

Posted on: Fri, 06/29/2001 - 5:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie, do you have the one Epi-pen to send your daughter to camp with?
Aside from it being the school's responsibility to both find and replace the Epi-pen (and I'm angry to discover that they didn't even know where the bloody thing is, but I won't go into rant mode right now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] ), are you able to get a doctor's appointment before your daughter goes to camp?
If you are, you ask him to fill out an Emergency Section 8 to cover the cost of the Epi-pen. Because it is REQUIRED medication to PA people, it does not have to go through the regular process that a Section 8 normally would. A Section 8 is when you do not have money for a prescribed medication. Your doctor fills out a Section 8 and submits it to the Ministry of Health where they look at it and then either approve and not approve it. This, for regular, not life saving medications, can take months, for either the approval or disapproval (?).
At any rate, because the Epi-pen is required, if you are able to see your family doctor (it doesn't have to be an allergist), you can ask him to fill out the form immediately and have it sent to the drug store where you would be getting the Epi-pen prescription filled.
By the sounds of the school, by the time they take to sort through everything, find the Epi-pen and then recognize that they are responsible for replacing it, your daughter will be home from camp and ready to start her new school year.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 06/30/2001 - 1:13am
DeeJay's picture
Joined: 07/05/2000 - 09:00

Add one more thing to my calendar--"Check with school to make sure they can locate Epi-pen!" When our school had a substitute nurse for several weeks, I went in to "check the expiration date" and right away she could locate it. I think I am going to continue to check regularly after these horror stories of the school losing the Epi-pens. I agree that you should raise a big stink about this-if you can get an extra Epi-pen, it might be a good idea for your child to carry one in a fanny pack and keep another in the office.

Posted on: Sat, 06/30/2001 - 1:32am
dad's picture
Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

Hooda thunkit?
I think occasional "inspections" are in order to make sure our schools can locate the epi-pen.
How many people had access to the pen? Usually they designate a nurse and maybe the child's teacher to be the only ones with access. Our school this year kept one in the nurse's office and his teacher insisted she have one locked in the classroom. She made sure that thing went with them wherever they went.

Posted on: Sat, 06/30/2001 - 9:36am
Head Cook's picture
Joined: 11/19/2000 - 09:00

I haven't had an epi-pen lost, but they have misplaced inhalers before. I regularly say I am checking expiration dates (before xmas break, etc.) or just take my son in early before school and get a puff to watch who and how fast they can open cupboards, and how often the key is not where it should be, etc. Most of these health offices are pretty much Ritalin dispensing revolving doors of activity so you HAVE to stay on top of them. I also put a small school picture on the end of the epi-pen so they could grab his fast if necessary, because there is a stack of them.

Posted on: Mon, 07/02/2001 - 4:19am
nkepe's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

Thanks for all the advice. The support from here is really wonderful. To Alternative to Mainstream, again thank you. I have an appointment with the GP on Wednesday this week, so I will be asking about the Emergency Section 8. It is wonderful to be able to gather knowledge from each other. I trust that one day I will be able to help someone else with loads of information as well. Being new to this is very overwhelming. But I am grateful for the assistance from each of you. Natalie

Posted on: Sat, 07/07/2001 - 3:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie, were you able to get the Emergency Section 8 through your doctor on Wednesday?
I'm sorry I wasn't back in here asking sooner as I am terribly concerned about your situation.
Also, I will post this information, without assuming anything about your situation, but just so that it is posted on the board in case someone is able to use the information (does that make sense?).
This, of course, is specific for the province of Ontario.
If you are on the Ontario Works program (welfare), this is something you would check about with your welfare worker. Each jurisdiction (?) handles it differently, either one of two ways, but your worker has to tell you which way your particular region of the province handles acquiring an Epi-pen.
In Toronto, for example, an Epi-pen is covered by a Section 8. In MOST parts of the province now, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has finally figured out that they can off-load this cost to the Ministry of Health.
However, in the parts of the province where they haven't figured this out yet, you speak with your worker and have your doctor give you a note saying you need whatever # of Epi-pens you need (you do not need to tell your doctor who the note is going to). You have to decide what pharmacy you are going to purchase the Epi-pens from. You get a price for the Epi-pens, including tax, and submit this, along with the doctor's note to your social worker. The social worker will then have your request processed. A voucher is sent to the pharmacy where you indicated you would be getting your Epi-pens for the amount that you quoted when you submitted your doctor's note.
Now, for the most part, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has clued in province wide that they can have the Ministry of Health cover this cost with a Section 8, but, if you are part of the Ontario Works program, it is best to check with your Ontario Works' worker and see which way your jurisdiction is handling it.
If you are on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program), although it is similar in some ways to Ontario Works, you would have to contact your disability worker to see how this would be handled as well.
Natalie, I mean no disrespect to you at all by posting this information in this thread.
However, I thought after I posted the information about the Emergency Section 8, that I *should* post the information about other ways to obtain an Epi-pen if you do not have any money. And, a lot of times, if you do not have any money, you may be *participating* in the Ontario Works program or on ODSP.
I hope this worked out well. Please let us know.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 07/10/2001 - 7:05am
nkepe's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

Thanks Cindy for the information. No disrespect was intended or taken. We are not actually in the Ontario Works Program (at least not as of yet). Both my husband and I are in the throes of making a decision about returning to South Africa for another two years to complete his Ph.D. and take up a very good job offer. There are no offers here just now and very little available. And since we are both not working at the moment, life is definitely very tough. Too tough to have to worry about a lost Epi-Pen.
I did not need the Emergency 8 however. I apologize for keeping you all in suspense for so long. We were out of town for about a week. I did return to the school last week on Tuesday. They still had not located the pen but admitted fault and said that they would certainly be absorbing the cost. I did not even have to ask, praise God. So when I went to the doctor on Wednesday, I got another prescription and the school filled it for me.
If I am still here next school year, and as I sit on the School Council, I plan to bring up this issue as a concern and hope that we could all put our heads together to come up with a plan to better manage and safe-guard the medication for students in the school's care. A sign in and out sheet, a check list of medication in stock, regular inventory checks to ascertain that medication is still there and has not expired. These are only some of my suggestions and they can be used by any school or day-care program. Of course, I intend to sign in and out our Epi-Pens on a weekly basis from now on (for my own peace of mind).

Posted on: Wed, 07/11/2001 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie, excellent, I am pleased this worked out for you.
I never did post about what happened at year-end re my son's Epi-pen because I was concerned about you and how you could obtain one quickly.
On the last day of school we were sent home Jesse's medication bag. When I got it home, checked inside. Aerochamber. Ventolin and Flovent puffers. No Epi-pen. He had worn his other Epi-pen home in the Epi-belt that day. Cool. So, I'm thinking, if this is Jesse's medication bag, where the he** is the Epi-pen?
His Father called the school next morning and said that he would be coming to pick it up.
Since he is of the "don't ruffle feathers" school of thought (or training?) he didn't think to question them about where the he** the Epi-pen was when it SHOULD have been in the medication bag. He simply retrieved it and brought it home.
When we got the two home from school, we did a quick check of all four Epi-pens for their expiry dates. 1 in September, 2 in October, and 1 in March. So, I've got a little bit of paperwork to get submitted.
I don't know why I simply let it pass with the school (I don't think the "don't ruffle the feathers" attitude can be passed on to a 42 year old at this late stage [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ), but I think I was just so bloody tired of dealing with the school for the year I just thought, fine, DH got it without a problem, end of story for this year.
Idiot people!
Again, I'm glad all worked out well!
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/12/2001 - 5:17am
nkepe's picture
Joined: 06/18/2001 - 09:00

Cindy, I am glad that ultimately things worked out for you as well. I have definitely experienced your frustrations first-hand myself. I'm new at it, but I expect that there are many more such frustrations to encounter on this journey.
I don't think that you ought to worry about ruffling feathers. Sometimes this needs to happen. As much as we don't like to admit it, other people are NOT as concerned about our children as we are. Therefore, we need to do whatever we can to safeguard them.
Here's hoping that 2001-2002 school year will prove to be better for all of us.

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