Schools to carry a life-saving drug for diabetics per new Illinois law

EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- Illinois schools are now allowed to have emergency kits on hand for diabetic students suffering from low blood sugar.

The state is the first in the nation to pass undesignated glucagon legislation on Monday, August 19 and a nurse at Glenview Middle School in East Moline hopes the rest of the country will follow.

Back in May of 2018 a diabetic student walked into Jennifer Jacobs' nurse's office and lost consciousness.

"We were treating correctly [and] the nurse that works with me, Heather Wangler, was doing everything as she should," Jacobs said, but the normal procedure of snacks and glucose tabs wasn't cutting it.

As Jacobs and Wangler waited for paramedics to arrive their only other option was illegal. 

"She did not have her own glucagon but two feet from us was another student's glucagon," said Jacobs.

She chose to broke the law.

"I used that other girl's glucagon to save this child and in doing so I know I am putting my license at jeopardy, I know I am putting my retirement at jeopardy, I’m putting the district at a huge liability issue,"Jacobs said.

The student survived and instead of losing her job, Jacobs fought and won to change the rules so no one would be put in that situation again.

Under the new law, schools are able to purchase glucagon to be used on a known diabetic if parents are unable to get life-saving medications, Jacobs said.

Something as simple as a glucagon kit can now be in every school in Illinois.

"It takes the burden off of the nurses and the staff that are caring for the diabetics," Jacobs said. "We don't want anybody ever to be put in the position of losing their license, we are here to help the kids."

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