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Should Schools Call an Ambulance When a Child Breaks a Bone?

By Sunny Chanel |

An Ambulance for a Broken Arm?

Let’s say your child gets hurt at school, really hurt – we’re talking writhing in pain hurt. As a parent you would, no doubt, want the best available help for them as soon as possible. Tom and Jen Deon of Saugus, Massachusetts, are just those type of parents.

The parents of fourth-grader Ally are reportedly furious because an ambulance was not called when she severely broke her arm at school. What happened?

While Ally was playing on the playground of Veterans Elementary School, she fell and broke her arm. The girl’s arm was apparently “bent at an unnatural angle” and she was screaming loudly. But the school said they were just following policy and “that injuries are judged on a case by case basis and response is based on the school nurse’s recommendation.” The nurse called Ally’s mom, who rushed to the school to pick her up and take her to the doctor. The girl’s break was so bad that she had to go to the Children’s Hospital of Boston for care.

The family is furious that Ally wasn’t immediately rushed to the hospital, especially since she was in such distress. One wonders where the lines are drawn for when a student should have an ambulance sent for their injuries. Do they need to be in a life-threatening situation? Shouldn’t being in intense pain count for getting immediate care?

What do you think? Do you stand by the nurse’s decision or would you have wanted your child to be rushed to the ER?

Photo Source: Istockphoto.com

 

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About Sunny Chanel

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Sunny Chanel

Since 2007 Sunny Chanel has written thousands of pieces for Babble. She currently writes for Babble's celebrity, moms, and Disney voices sections and has her own blog aptly named Sunny Chanel. You can find Sunny on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sunny's latest posts →

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7 thoughts on “Should Schools Call an Ambulance When a Child Breaks a Bone?

  1. bwsf says:

    Holy wow, that poor little girl! School needs a new nurse. I would be furious! It’s ok for the school to not want to call an ambulance for every little thing, but this girl obviously needed medical attention!

  2. Meagan says:

    Who pays for the ambulance ride and ER visit? I’m guessing it’s the parents? I suspect the policy is in place, not because the SCHOOL doesn’t want to call/pay for an ambulance, but because in the past vocal parents haven’t wanted to, and have made complaints, possibly lawsuits, saying they should have been called instead, and have been “wrongly” billed for an “unnecessary” ambulance ride.

    I broke my arm at school in 7th grade, they called my dad, he brought me to the doctor and nothing seemed off about that. BUT my break wasn’t at an unnatural angle, I wasn’t screaming in pain, and I wasn’t obvious whether I was seriously hurt. I would certainly hope the school would call an ambulance in this case. At the very least, maybe a compromise of calling the parents first, for permission to call an ambulance, rather than to pick the girl up and deal with it themselves.

  3. Sanriobaby =^.^= says:

    This school nurse needs to be fired. How she was able to look at that poor child with a severe break in her arm, in horrible pain and NOT insist that an ambulance be called is downright inexcuseable. It’s her job to determine a child’s medical needs in an emergency and if she couldn’t see that this particular case required immediate care, then she shouldn’t be working for that or any school for that matter. She should have been able to determine the severity of the the injury and communicate that to the parents over the phone at least so that they had an opportunity to consent to a call for an ambulanceI. I see this lack of basic common sense as medical negligence and therefore she as well as the school should be sued.

  4. Laura says:

    A broken arm is not an emergency unless it is a compund fracture and the person is bleeding. Had they called an ambulance most likely nothing different would have been done. They would not have given her pain medications most likely without parental consent and the hospital would not have started treatment without the parent there. The nurse did the right thing, assessed the situation. I am sure the girl screamed but stopped by the time the mom arrived. Why did the mom not call the ambulance when she got there?
    Again a case of parents blaming the school because an ACCIDENT happened to their preshus snoflake.

  5. Christie says:

    Unless there was a significant delay in treatment that caused permanent damage there is no reason these parents should be suing school. It reads as though they called the parents and they responded right away. In the of minors nothing is done without parental consent unless life threatening. They need to leave school and the nurse alone.

  6. Christie says:

    Unless there was a significant delay in treatment that caused permanent damage there is no reason these parents should be suing the school. It reads as though they called the parents and they responded right away. In the of minors nothing is done without parental consent unless life threatening. They need to leave school and the nurse alone.

  7. Leslie says:

    Ambulances are there for life threatening emergencies. If she wasn’t bleeding out, I think the school did the right thing. If the mother had told them, when they called her, to call an ambulance, then at that point they should have. I wouldn’t want to pay that bill when a broken arm is an easy ER visit. Schools should have a list of each parents preferred action plan to cases like these.

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