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A100 - Oxygen Use in Schools and On the Bus

 Administrative Letter #100 Oxygen Use in Schools and On the Bus (Excerpts from Maryland State Guidelines used with permission.) Approved 07/01/2014

DATE:           July 1, 2014 

FROM:          Karen Bess, Student Services Director, Launi Harden, Transportation Director, Michael Lee, Risk Management Specialist 

SUBJECT:     Oxygen Use in Schools and On the Bus  (Excerpts from Maryland State Guidelines used with permission.)

  1. Children with special health care needs may have full and safe access to all educational programs because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and State law. 
  1. The school nurse is the lead team member in assessing the health needs of the student and developing an Individual Health Care Plan, through: 
  • Obtaining the student’s medical/health history from the parent/guardians and health care providers.
  • Obtaining any physician’s orders (oxygen, medications, suctioning, etc.)

 And Determining: 

  • The health status of the student and the possible need for a shortened day due to decreased stamina
  • Whether the student requires oxygen continuously or p.r.n. (pro re nata – as needed)
  • Nurse assessment cannot be delegated; however, delegation to perform tasks to an unlicensed personnel may be considered, (student able to provide his/her own care with supervision; student’s needs are chronic, stable, uncomplicated, routine and predictable; environment conducive to delegation; unlicensed person is able to perform the delegated nursing task in a safe and competent manner)
  • The type of oxygen (liquid or gas)
  • Other related interventions (air conditioned room, pulse oximetry readings, etc.)
  • The need for a spare or back-up oxygen source & space in each classroom
  • The age/maturity of the student’s classmates and potential safety concerns
  • The training needs and providing information to school staff regarding responsibilities, proper usage (movement to other classrooms & activities) and storage of the equipment for the oxygen delivery system (ODS) while in the school building - (see diagram on page 2 of this letter)
  • How the student will get to and from school (personal or school transportation services) 
  1. The decision to provide transportation as a related services is determined by the IEP team by asking, “Can this service (accommodation) be provided on the “regular” school bus or does the student require service delivery on a separate bus with specialized equipment including trained personnel?” 
  1. The school bus driver and paraprofessional must be provided with: 
  • Why the student is using oxygen
  • Whether the oxygen is continuous or on an as needed basis
  • What level the oxygen is set
  • How to secure and handle the oxygen in case of bus evacuation
  • What constitutes an emergency for the student
  • Emergency contact (usually 911)
  • How to report an emergency
  • Basic safety procedures to follow until emergency personnel arrive, and training in the safe use of oxygen 

Note:  Most of this information should be on an Emergency Plan



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