Administering an Opioid Antidote
[See POLICY ALERT No. 210]
New Jersey’s “Overdose Prevention Act” encourages the wider prescription and distribution of an opioid antidote to prevent opioid overdose. The New Jersey Department of Education informed school districts they may develop and adopt policies and procedures to maintain and administer an opioid antidote to any student, school personnel, or other person believed to be experiencing an opioid overdose during school hours or during on-site school-sponsored activities to block the opioid’s life-threatening effects.
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 24:6J-4.a.(1)(e), the school district’s physician, as a health care practitioner as defined in N.J.S.A. 24:6J-3, may prescribe or dispense an opioid antidote directly or through a standing order to the school district for a school district certified school nurse to administer to overdose victims, provided the school physician deems a school district certified school nurse is capable of administering the opioid antidote to an overdose victim in an emergency. The physician’s standing order must specify a school district certified school nurse is authorized to administer the opioid antidote to overdose victims. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 24:6J-5.a.(1), the school physician issuing the standing order shall ensure that overdose prevention information is provided to the school district and the certified school nurse(s) authorized to administer an opioid antidote. The overdose prevention information shall include, but not be limited to: information on opioid overdose prevention and recognition; instructions on how to perform rescue breathing and resuscitation; information on opioid antidote dosage and instructions on opioid antidote administration; information describing the importance of calling 911 emergency telephone service for assistance with an opioid overdose; and instructions for appropriate care of an overdose victim after administration of the opioid antidote.
Upon receiving a report of a possible opioid overdose during school hours or during an on-site school-sponsored activity, the Principal, Principal’s designee, or supervising staff member will immediately call 911. The school nurse, during school hours and if available at an on-site school-sponsored activity, will also be immediately called. In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 24:6J-4.d.(1), the school nurse who has received overdose prevention information pursuant to N.J.S.A. 24:6J-5.a.(1) and has been deemed capable of administering the opioid antidote by the school physician may administer the opioid antidote to a student, school personnel, or other person in an emergency if the school nurse believes, in good faith, that the person is experiencing an opioid overdose.
The school nurse and/or other school staff members shall keep the student, school personnel, or other person comfortable until emergency medical responders arrive on the scene. Any student who receives an opioid antidote by the school nurse or by an emergency medical responder shall be transported to the nearest hospital with a school staff member designated by the Principal, Principal’s designee, or supervising staff member of the on-site school-sponsored activity.
The Principal, Principal’s designee, or supervising staff member will notify the parent of any student or a family member or other contact person for a school staff member who may be experiencing a possible opioid overdose as soon as practicable. The Principal, Principal’s designee, or supervising staff member of the on-site school-sponsored activity shall notify the Superintendent of Schools whenever an opioid antidote is administered by a school nurse or an emergency medical responder.
The school nurse shall be responsible to store the opioid antidote that has been prescribed by the school physician in a safe and secure location; document the administration of an opioid antidote on a student’s health record; monitor the on-site inventory and replacement of the opioid antidote supply; and plan for the disposal of administered opioid antidote and expired opioid antidote applicator.
Any student or school staff member who is found to be under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance shall be subject to the provisions of applicable statutes and administrative codes and Board policies and regulations regarding substance use.
In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 24:6J-4.d.(2), the school district and the school nurse shall not, as a result of any acts or omissions, be subject to any criminal or civil liability for administering an opioid antidote in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 24:6J-1 et seq.
Nothing in this Policy shall prohibit the administration of an opioid antidote to a student, school personnel, or other person in an emergency during school hours or during on-site school-sponsored activities by an emergency medical responder or by a person authorized to administer an opioid antidote in accordance with N.J.S.A. 24:6J-1 et seq.
This Policy shall be reviewed and approved by the school physician and Board Attorney prior to Board adoption and whenever the Policy is revised. This Policy shall be made available to school staff members, parents, and students in staff and student handbooks, published on the district’s website, or through any other appropriate means.
N.J.S.A. 24:6J-1 et seq.
May 24, 2016 New Jersey Department of Education Memorandum - Information for Schools Regarding Opioid Overdose Prevention