Red tape keeps inhaler from student having asthma attack
Tampa Bay Times: Volusia County school officials stand by a Deltona High School nurse’s decision to refuse a student his inhaler during an asthma attack, citing a lack of a parent’s signature on a medical release form, WKMG Local 6reports.
“It’s like something out of a horror film. The person just sits there and watches you die,” said Michael Rudi, 17. “She sat there, looked at me and she did nothing.”
He said the school dean found his inhaler during a search of his locker last Friday. The inhaler was still in its original packaging — complete with his name and directions for its use; however, the school took it away because his mother hadn’t signed the proper form for him to have it.
School leaders called Sue Rudi when her son started having trouble breathing. She rushed to the office and was taken back to the nurse’s office by school administrators and they discovered the teen on the floor.
“As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing against the wall on the floor of the nurse’s office while she was standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who was in full-blown asthma attack,” Rudi said.
Michael Rudi said when he started to pass out from his attack, the nurse locked the door. “I believe that when I closed my eyes I wasn’t going to wake up,” he said.
The Director of Student Health Services, Cheryl Selesky, said that parents must sign the medical release form each year, which allows students to carry their prescribed drugs with them in school. This year, the district had no record of his Rudi’s signature, said Selesky.
“I mean its common sense if I saw an animal on the street in distress I would probably stop to help, why wouldn’t she help a child,” Sue Rudi said.
But Rudi is a senior, and his mother said the district has had records of his asthma throughout his years in the school.
Sue Rudi thinks her son could have died because of a technicality. “How dare you deny my son something that we all take for granted, breath,” said Sue Rudi. “Why didn’t someone call 911?”
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