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Unlicensed Personnel May Not Administer Insulin to Students with Diabetes

A California Court of Appeal recently ruled that, unless state law provides otherwise, unlicensed personnel may not administer insulin shots to students with diabetes in nonemergency situations. This is true even when the shots are required by the student’s 504 plan or IEP, and regardless of any attendant logistical or financial challenges. In the wake of the ruling, a district must ensure that personnel authorized by state law are available to administer insulin shots. State law limits this activity to nurses, family members or the students themselves. American Nurses Ass’n v. O’Connell, 110 Cal.Rptr.3d., 305 Cal.App. 3 District, June 8, 2010).

Based on the underlying trial court ruling, and in anticipation that the Appeals Court would uphold that ruling, AB 1802 was introduced on February 10, 2010 to remedy this ruling and permit a parent to designate one or more school employees to administer insulin as necessary during the school day when a nurse or other health care provider is not available. Unfortunately, AB 1802 died in committee.

Check your policies and IEPs to ensure that you are in compliance and call if you have questions.

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