Charleston Co. Schools equipping every school nurse with Narcan

Updated: Aug. 15, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District leaders say they want to be prepared in the case an opioid overdose were to happen in their schools.

Narcan will now be in the hands of every nurse at the start of this school year.

Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law back in May that would add overdose reversal drugs, such as Narcan, to the list of life-saving medications in schools. The Charleston County School District says adding this could make a big impact in their hallways.

If an overdose were to happen on school grounds, House Bill 4122 states a nurse or any school employee can administer the life-saving treatment if they’re trained under the state health department’s guidelines.

Ellen Nitz, the head of nursing for the district, says they will start handing the Narcan out to the nurses for them to keep in their medical carts and emergency bags. The district plans to train staff later this year on how to administer it at each AED, or automated external defibrillator, site.

With an increase in opioid overdoses and deaths within the community, the district says they want to be proactive and be able to react in any emergency.

“We have not had any death, of course, in our school district from opioid overdose,” Nitz said. “But there have been some issues with some children that may have taken a substance and come to the nurse feeling funny, feeling different, having signs and symptoms. So, we want to be prepared. We don’t want to lose a life.”

The district’s nurses will receive the Narcan at their back-to-school meeting on Thursday.

The Charleston County School District’s first day of school is Aug. 23.