New Illinois law aims to protect students with diabetes

October 21, 2019

Illinois has a new law to ensure that children with diabetes have access to the medical care they need. Under HB 822, which received unanimous approval in the state General Assembly, schools are given the authority to store an undesignated supply of glucagon.

This medication, used to treat low-blood-sugar emergencies, will have to be stored in a secure location that is immediately accessible to a school nurse. The nurse can then administer the glucagon if he or she has such authority under the student’s diabetes care plan. Parents must be notified immediately after the medication has been administered.

According to the Quad Cities Times, Illinois’ glucagon law is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. It is the result of an incident that occurred at an Illinois middle school in 2018: A seventh-grader collapsed due to dangerously low blood sugar levels, and a nurse administered glucagon. In that incident, though, the student didn’t have a prescription at school, and the school didn’t have the authority at the time to carry an undesignated supply. The nurse used another student’s prescription. With the new law in place, every Illinois school can have an undesignated supply on hand.