(1) The superintendent of public instruction and the secretary of the department of health shall develop a uniform policy for all school districts providing for the in-service training for school staff on symptoms, treatment, and monitoring of students with asthma and on the additional observations that may be needed in different situations that may arise during the school day and during school-sponsored events. The policy shall include the standards and skills that must be in place for in-service training of school staff.
(2) All school districts shall adopt policies regarding asthma rescue procedures for each school within the district.
(3) All school districts must require that each public elementary school and secondary school grant to any student in the school authorization for the self-administration of medication to treat that student's asthma or anaphylaxis, if:
(a) A health care practitioner prescribed the medication for use by the student during school hours and instructed the student in the correct and responsible use of the medication;
(b) The student has demonstrated to the health care practitioner, or the practitioner's designee, and a professional registered nurse at the school, the skill level necessary to use the medication and any device that is necessary to administer the medication as prescribed;
(c) The health care practitioner formulates a written treatment plan for managing asthma or anaphylaxis episodes of the student and for medication use by the student during school hours; and
(d) The student's parent or guardian has completed and submitted to the school any written documentation required by the school, including the treatment plan formulated under (c) of this subsection and other documents related to liability.
(4) An authorization granted under subsection (3) of this section must allow the student involved to possess and use his or her medication:
(a) While in school;
(b) While at a school-sponsored activity, such as a sporting event; and
(c) In transit to or from school or school-sponsored activities.
(5) An authorization granted under subsection (3) of this section:
(a) Must be effective only for the same school and school year for which it is granted; and
(b) Must be renewed by the parent or guardian each subsequent school year in accordance with this subsection.
(6) School districts must require that backup medication, if provided by a student's parent or guardian, be kept at a student's school in a location to which the student has immediate access in the event of an asthma or anaphylaxis emergency.
(7) School districts must require that information described in subsection (3)(c) and (d) of this section be kept on file at the student's school in a location easily accessible in the event of an asthma or anaphylaxis emergency.
(8) Nothing in this section creates a cause of action or in any other way increases or diminishes the liability of any person under any other law.
[2005 c 462 § 2.]
Findings—2005 c 462: "The legislature finds that:
(1) Asthma is a dangerous disease that is growing in prevalence in Washington state. An estimated five hundred thousand residents of the state suffer from asthma. Since 1995, asthma has claimed more than five hundred lives, caused more than twenty-five thousand hospitalizations with costs of more than one hundred twelve million dollars, and resulted in seven million five hundred thousand missed school days. School nurses have identified over four thousand children with life-threatening asthma in the state's schools.
(2) While asthma is found among all populations, its prevalence disproportionately affects low-income and minority populations. Untreated asthma affects worker productivity and results in unnecessary absences from work. In many cases, asthma triggers present in substandard housing and poorly ventilated workplaces contribute directly to asthma.
(3) Although research continues into the causes and cures for asthma, national consensus has been reached on treatment guidelines. People with asthma who are being treated in accordance with these guidelines are far more likely to control the disease than those who are not being treated and therefore are less likely to experience debilitating or life-threatening asthma episodes, less likely to be hospitalized, and less likely to need to curtail normal school or work activities. With treatment, most people with asthma are able to live normal, active lives.
(4) Up to one-third of the people with asthma have not had their disease diagnosed. Among those with diagnosed asthma, thirty to fifty percent are not receiving medicines that are needed to control the disease, and approximately eighty percent of diagnosed asthmatics are not getting yearly spirometry measurements that are a key element in monitoring the disease." [2005 c 462 § 1.]