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All District 204 schools have new life-saving devices


All schools in Indian Prairie School District 204 have new life-saving devices to help in emergencies, officials said in a recent presentation.

A new type of device, rescue inhalers containing the drug Albuterol, has already been used four times this school year to help students experiencing a respiratory emergency, according to District Health Services Coordinator Linda Herwaldt. He gave the district Board of Education an update on the Department of Health Services at its meeting on Monday.

“Inhalers are for anyone with acute respiratory distress, so this could be a student who has never had breathing problems but has an ongoing respiratory illness that triggers breathing difficulties,” Herwaldt said. “It is possible that a student may have forgotten their inhaler at home. Sometimes it happens.”

The rescue inhalers were provided free to the district through RESCUE Illinois, a program of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America funded by grants from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

According to Herwaldt, schools also received accessories for masks and rescue inhalers through the program, aero chambers, valved containment chambers and masks that allow medication to reach the lungs faster without incurring any cost to the district, according to Herwaldt.

Aside from the equipment received through the RESCUE Illinois program, two other types of lifesaving equipment were introduced to schools this year.

If someone is choking and traditional methods of clearing the airway fail, schools can now turn to new survival vacuum kits, Herwaldt said. Authorities said that this device, approved for ages 3 and above, eliminates congestion in the throat by creating suction force.

Bleeding control kits, which include tourniquets, trauma dressings, compressed gauze, gloves, scissors and more, are now stored in cabinets next to all defibrillator machines, according to the presentation.

According to Herwaldt, each classroom will soon receive its own emergency kit. He said the bags were developed in collaboration with Ron Wilke, the district’s safety, security and emergency preparedness coordinator.

According to the presentation, the bags are assembled by participants in the STEPS program, which teaches adults with special needs the skills they need to enter the workforce.

According to Herwaldt, the Indian Prairie School District Health Services Department has launched a new partnership with VNA Health Care to provide physical exams and immunizations to students who are new to the district or are not already connected to a doctor.

He said VNA Health Care has a special program for Indian Prairie students and allocates blocks of time throughout the week specifically for the area.

The district also has a new program to help nursing students gain practical experience in public schools, Herwaldt said. According to the presentation, Aurora University is partnering with universities such as the University of Illinois Chicago and Illinois State University.

In the first semester of the program, a total of five universities placed nursing students in the district.

This school year, Indian Prairie school nurses have seen nearly 65,000 student visits, Herwaldt said.



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