Epilepsy and Seizures Policy
Date: September 2017
Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Epileptic seizures are caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain resulting in a temporary disruption in the normal messages passing between brain cells. Seizures can involve loss of consciousness, a range of unusual movements, odd feelings and sensations or changed behaviour. Most seizures are spontaneous, brief and self-limited. However multiple seizures known as seizure clusters can occur over a 24 hour period.
Non-epileptic seizures (NES), also known as 'dissociative seizures'. There are two types of non-epileptic seizures:
- organic NES which have a physical cause
- psychogenic NES, which are caused by mental or emotional processes.
Seizure triggers is a term used to describe known circumstances where the individual may have an increased likelihood of having a seizure. Seizure triggers are unique to the person and are not always known. Common seizure triggers can include stress, lack of sleep, heat, illness or missed medication. A detailed description of seizure types and triggers can be found on the Epilepsy Foundation website
Medical conditions, such as epilepsy are considered a disability under both state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (VIC) and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), schools have a positive obligation to make reasonable and necessary adjustments for students with medical conditions such as epilepsy, to enable them to access and to participate in their education on the same basis as their peers.
· To ensure that the school supports students diagnosed with epilepsy and students having a non-epileptic seizure event appropriately.
· To implement strategies to assist students with epilepsy according to specific needs.
· To ensure appropriate health and management plans are in place for students with epilepsy.
· To ensure that all staff members who have a duty of care responsibility for a student living with epilepsy will receive training in Understanding and Managing Epilepsy by a recognised epilepsy training provider
· To ensure that appropriate and sufficient staff members ie campus first aid staff, are trained in the Administration of Emergency Medication by a recognised epilepsy training provider.
· Students with epilepsy must have an Epilepsy Management Plan – signed by a doctor and provided to the school by the student’s parents/carers.
· Epilepsy management plans and emergency medication management plans must be updated annually or when changes to the plan occur.
· Where the student’s Epilepsy Management Plan states that emergency medication has been prescribed then the school must hold a current Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) signed by a doctor and provided by the student’s parents/guardians. The Staff will also need to be trained by a recognised epilepsy provider to provide medical assistance in accordance with that plan.
· Emergency data, Epilepsy Management Plan, Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) and student photo displayed in staff room of all students with epilepsy.
· Emergency data, Epilepsy Management Plan, Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) and student photo held in Excursion folder and office records of all students with mild to moderate allergies.
· The school will ensure training for specific staff members will occur every two years or sooner when there is a change in the dose of medication, and/or route of administration, and/or seizure type/description
· Education for school staff in recognising and responding appropriately to an epileptic seizure will be provided.
· The school will ensure the provision of and access to Individual Medication Kits for each student that has been prescribed emergency medication. The kits will include the required medication and tools to provide medical assistance in accordance with the students Emergency Medication Management Plan.
· The Individual Medication Kits will be stored in a location known to all of the staff with a duty of care responsibility to the students living with epilepsy.
· In the event of an epileptic seizure, the school’s first aid and emergency management response procedures of the student’s individual Epilepsy Management Plans and Emergency Medication Management Plan (EMMP) must be followed.
· When in or around water, a dedicated staff member must remain within close response distance to a student with epilepsy.
· Students with epilepsy undertaking swimming or water based activities must have signed consent to participate in the program by a medical practitioner.
· Students participating in swimming or water based activities must have 1:1 supervision when in the water to ensure their safety as outlined in the school’s Aquatics Policy.
· Epilepsy Smart Schools: Smart Schools Resources - http://www.epilepsysmartschools.org.au/smart-schools-resources/
· Epilepsy Foundation: http://epilepsyfoundation.org.au/
- Complex Medical Needs: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/Pages/complexneeds.aspx
- Duty of Care: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/safety/Pages/dutyofcare.aspx
- Health Care Needs: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/Pages/healthcareneeds.aspx
- Health Support Planning: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/Pages/supportplanning.aspx
- Swimming Supervision and Safety: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/curriculum/pages/swimming.aspx
- This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three year cycle or as new guidelines are released.
Ratified School Council: 20th September, 2017
Review date: September 2020