Where\'s the emphasis?

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:15pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

This is my second attempt at posing this question. I've decided to just ask as directly as I can, and after others post, I'll respond myself.

Do you think you emphasize the *prevention* of a reaction or the *treatment* of a reaction more with the school?

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:25pm
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

I know in my case, I emphasize more the *prevention* of a reaction. I will do everything in my power to prevent a reaction because I don't want my DD to go through that. I witnessed her reaction and it was very scary. I can only imagine what she must have felt going through that.
However, I do emphasize to them that if she does have a reaction, especially if they know it was peanuts, don't hesitate to treat her. The quicker she gets treated, the better she will be. It is a judgement call, and I always tell them that if they don't want to deal with a reaction, then they need to do everything they can to prevent it.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:33pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I put a lot of emphasis on both, but probably more on how to recognize and handle a reaction.
When I was trying to get things in order for DS during Kindergarten, the principal and nurse tried to tell me that I shouldn't worry that teachers are all wonderful and nothing bad would happen to DS. That a student had never gone into ana. shock at our school.
I happened to see a Red binder on his bookshelf, it was one of those HUGE binders and on the spine it was labeled Fire Drill and Emergency Manual.
I asked him if he would get the binder. I asked him when the last time the school had a fire? He said never, I pointed out how odd it was that there was a binder of this size dedicated to how to conduct a fire drill and what to do in case of a fire, but I couldn't even get one page to outline how to handle a life threatening situation for my DS.
Point was well taken....

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 12:09am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

It seems to me that the school has historically put more emphasis on *treatment* after a reaction has occurred.
My emphasis has always been *Prevention*, definitely.
That said, our Emergency Plan is very thorough and is practiced annually by staff. The school district has epi-pens in each classroom 'crisis kit', and throughout the building in 'trauma kits'.
But the whole prevention aspect is not as straight forward and new to most. So most of my effort has been to create procedures in the 'system' that addresses prevention through staff training, creating building practices, and reviewing district-wide policies and prodecures.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 12:31am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for the replies so far.
When I really stop to think about it, for us, the most important thing is that people know how to recognize and treat the reaction. Mistakes happen, accidents happen, reactions happen. I want the school to be able to recognize a reaction beyond a shadow of a doubt, and be able to treat it properly ASAP.
I'm just wondering if the school/teachers came away from our first meeting thinking more about the prevention or the treatment? I think I'll ask at our first conference.
Edit: Both aspects of PA are *incredibly* important, OF COURSE, but I have to be honest and say that, for us, the treatment aspect is the most important of the two. Just wondered what/how others thought.
I think reading April in KC's post in the introductions thread really drove this home for me this morning. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited August 31, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 1:25am
Jenna's picture
Joined: 07/09/2000 - 09:00

I agree that both are importan but my feelings have always been that if they have a good prevention program in place, then they won't have to deal with reactions. (Not saying that there will never be a reaction, just that the liklihood goes way down.) One concern I have with our school is that there is no one with medical experience there most of the time. We have consistently tried to encourage training, yet the school has failed on this. The assistant's answer is to just give the epi pen. If there were more emphasize on prevention, training, knowing how to evaluate symptoms, etc. I believe the school would be addressing peanut allergies much better. I guess we just have to do our best to cover it all- not an easy task.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 1:52am
krc's picture
Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

I think both are equally important. When I meet with the school, I begin with what to look for and how to treat. I describe dd's ANA reaction which usually gets their attention and then they are more willing to discuss prevention. I find people usually focus on treatment rather than all the things that are possible to prevent so I really do emphasize both. I will do anything to prevent my daughter from having another reaction.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 1:53am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I have a lot of worries about people saying, he's not eating anything...so it's probably not a reaction. Like in specials or on the playground.
This falls under both prevention--hand washing after eating, making art rooms, computer rooms etc. free of food. It also falls under recognizing a reaction and understanding of contact reactions, etc.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

What an interesting question.
I say this because my greatest frustration has been dealing with the majority of "outsiders" in my life (family included) who myopically focus on [i]treating reactions and how to recognize one...[/i]
All the while I talk myself blue in the face about how [i]there must never ever ever BE another reaction... and here's all that we need to do to prevent one from happening...[/i]
I think it is because I truly fear (given DD's rxn hx) that epi could be too little, too late. I think our allergist tacitly agrees with me, though none of us likes to say so, of course. It is why the line about "outcome cannot be predicted" is in his letter.
It is also the reason that I refuse to turn DD's care over to a school. To [i]her[/i] eventually, yes. But she gets it. KWIM?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I mean, I understand that mistakes happen, and they can certainly lead to trace exposures. But large exposures are not "mistakes" in my mind. They are screw-ups or things you didn't know you should consider.
This is why our 504 is needed, even though "school" happens here at home. We still have to address materials and standardized testing.
The school has to understand that even the most miniscule exposures [i]are totally unacceptable.[/i] For ANY reason.
So I don't have to really deal with any emphasis I would put on the "treatment" portion of the equation... because I haven't yet found a situation that takes the "prevention" part seriously enough (IMO) to bother.
I hear alarm bells (MWAH! MWAH! [i]Red alert![/i] ) any time someone says to me "So you can [b]just[/b] give her one of those injections, right?" (emphasis mine) Because of course, that is all they will 'hear' when they listen, and it is not enough.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:32am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I'm finding the responses to be very interesting.
And I just wanted to pop in here again to say, I hope no one thinks I'm thinking there's a right answer to this. There is no wrong or right. We all know that both are truly equally important in dealing with PA. I just began to realize that *I* tend to emphasize the importance of the treatment a smidge more than the prevention.
Maybe the difference, the emphasis, is miniscule, but I have noticed it's there for me.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 10:09pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Definitely prevention. Simply because treatment doesn't always work. I always shudder when I come across the occasional stories that the epipen was administered, but didn't work. And these stories are never very clear on if the epi was delivered in a timely fashion either.


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