Indiana Governor Signs Bill Championed by Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana Mandating Training of School Personnel on Seizure First Aid

Indiana is Second State in the Nation to Pass Seizure Safe School Legislation

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Indianapolis, Ind., May 7, 2019 — Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana announced today that Governor Eric Holcomb signed HEA1089 into law making Indiana the second state in the nation to pass such legislation. The bill includes the Epilepsy Foundation's Seizure Safe Schools language, which will help improve the care of the 10,600 students living in Indiana with epilepsy and seizure disorders. Under the law, public schools will mandate training of school personnel on seizure detection and first aid; require that Seizure Action Plans be on file for every student diagnosed with epilepsy or a seizure disorder and available to all personnel responsible for the student; and ensure the administration of seizure rescue medication, approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, or medication prescribed by the student's health care provider.

"The Epilepsy Foundation is incredibly excited for this bill to become law," said Ryan Keys, executive director, Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana. "The time and efforts of the volunteers, staff and community partners have had such a positive impact in helping families dealing with epilepsy to get the support and safety that they deserve. There are enough obstacles and challenges that come with epilepsy, so it is important to bring awareness to the entire educational community so that students living with epilepsy or a seizure disorder can feel safe in school, reach their full academic potential, and build meaningful friendships without fear of being stigmatized."

For students living with epilepsy, it is important that schools are well-equipped with the tools necessary to provide a safe and enriching environment. The legislation makes certain that school personnel, including nurses, teachers, and volunteers, are not only prepared but can recognize and respond appropriately and efficiently to the student experiencing a seizure. Even more importantly, the legislation safeguards physician-directed care in the school setting allowing students to access necessary and oftentimes life-saving medication.

"This important law will help to ease the minds of parents throughout the state of Indiana sending their child to school each day, fearing that they will have a seizure and someone won't know what do to help save their life," said Dr. Bettyjo Bouchey, associate dean at National Louis University, mother of a child living with epilepsy, and volunteer state advocacy leader for Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana. "Most of us have been very fortunate to work with our school districts; we are grateful as this makes it much easier and safer for our kids." 

Seizure first aid is simple; the most important steps to know — STAY, SAFE, SIDE — help us remember basic Seizure First Aid: 

  • STAY with the person and start timing the seizure. Remain calm and check for medical ID.
  • Make sure they are SAFE and move away harmful objects. 
  • If they convulse or are not awake, turn them on their SIDE. Don't block their airway. Put something small and soft under the head. Loosen tight clothes around their neck.
  • Never put anything in their mouth. Don't give water, pills or food until the person is awake.
  • Do not restrain them.
  • Stay with them until they are awake and alert after the seizure. Most seizures end in a few minutes.
  • If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or the person is injured, call 911.

The Epilepsy Foundation offers free trainings for schools and the public for those interested in learning how to help someone having a seizure. For more information, please visit epilepsy.com/FirstAid

About Epilepsy
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. There are more than twice as many people with epilepsy in the U.S. as the number of people with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis, combined. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States live with active epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions. 

About the Epilepsy Foundation Indiana
Epilepsy Foundation of Indiana is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY® in the state. The Foundation serves nearly 70,000 Hoosiers living with epilepsy by fostering the wellbeing of children and adults affected by epilepsy and seizures through research programs, educational activities, advocacy, and direct services. For more information, please visit epilepsy.com/Indiana.

Contact Name: 
Ryan Keys
Contact Phone: 
(317) 759-1287
Contact Email: 

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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