It’s Not The Availability That’s The Problem…

Health experts have called for every school in the UK to stock emergency asthma treatments after a teenage boy collapsed and died in detention at an east London school.

Didn’t he have an inhaler? Or Epipen?

Well, yes…

Staff who fought to save him had access to an inhaler and EpiPen from Nasar’s personal medical box for five minutes before paramedics arrived, but were unsure whether to use them.


Giving evidence at Poplar Coroner’s Court, Dr Chinedu Nwokoro, a consultant and clinical academic in paediatric respiratory medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, called for a change to advice over the use of adrenaline injectors such as EpiPens.

He said: “If (a patient) has got respiratory compromise, give it; if (they) lose consciousness, give it; if there is any doubt, give it. It’s not wrong.”

Coroner Mary Hassell said she would be making a number of prevention of future deaths reports and suggested she would be writing to the chief medical officer to highlight the issues and her concerns.

So expensive equipment will be supplied to each school unnecessarily, while the real problem – the reluctance of teaching staff to do anything their union haven’t cleared them to do – will go ignored.

11 comments for “It’s Not The Availability That’s The Problem…

  1. Errol
    May 8, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Not the union, the state.

    When I taught we were forbidden totouch the child. Heck, can you imagine the case if a teacher had put an inhaler in the child’s mouth?

    Assault, sexual and physical for a start. It’s a minefield. If the child had an inhaler present to them and didn’t use it, the fault is the child’s.

    • May 8, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Boy was in detention – might throw some light on that last point.

      • May 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

        Detention is still school.

  2. The Cowboy Online
    May 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I wonder who these ‘health experts’ are? I ask only because Epipens have a limited shelf life, so this wouldn’t be a one off exercise with further costs limited to replacing Epipens that have been used, this would be an ongoing – and costly – additional burden to the taxpayer, and yet – as can clearly be seen in this story – the issue is around school staff not being trained, and understandably reluctant to use what was available to them.

  3. rapscallion
    May 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I agree with Errol. It appears that many children are getting sunburnt – because the school staff cannot put sun cream on them.

    It seems to me that its better to let a child die rather than let your life be ruined by all sorts of allegations and lurid insinuations. And we’re supposed to be and advanced civilisation? Really?

    • May 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

      And don’t even THINK about removing your child and homeschooling it!

  4. DisenfranchisedOfBuckingham
    May 8, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Last sport first aid course from the St Johns I did made the point never give an inhaler or epipen.

    You do it and you are legally liable for the outcome. Don’t do it and you are legally safe.

    It’s the state that’s screwed in this case. There is no liability for not trying to save a life.

  5. Mudplugger
    May 9, 2017 at 8:35 am

    As with most such cases, it’s not H&S, it’s not government, it’s not unions – it’s the pernicious effect of no-win-no-fee lawyers and the consequent demands of insurers. Because they leap on every opportunity to blame/claim, then every employee is trained to avoid that prospect, even if the alternative outcome is a potentially avoidable death.
    Get rid of the conditional-fee lawyers and common sense may finally return.

    • May 14, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Good point! Shakespeare was right about them…

  6. Hereward Unbowed.
    May 9, 2017 at 9:20 am

    “Staff who fought to save him had access to an inhaler and EpiPen from Nasar’s personal medical box for five minutes before paramedics arrived, but were unsure whether to use them.”

    ” an inhaler and EpiPen from Nasar’s personal medical box”

    I stress “personal” again.

    The likelihood was, this kid had a history of fitting, sticking him in a detention room was likely to increase stress etc……………

    Until, parents sign a disclaimer or, no win no fee ambulance chasers are wound up [as has been already quite rightly pointed out], there is no happy compromise here and I hestitate to blame anyone at the school, this kid had ‘special needs’ – as that awful phrase goes.

  7. Stonyground
    May 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

    And of course the solution, or rather non solution, is to make sure that all schools have lots of expensive equipment for the teachers not to use next time.

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