Emergency Procedure for Injury and Illness Management

<<WISHeS Injury and Illness Protocols

Listed below are steps that should be taken for students who suffer an illness or injury.

  • The following dangers will require caution: live electrical wires, gas leaks, building damage, fire or smoke, traffic or violence.
  • A responsible adult should stay at the scene and provide assistance until the person designated to handle emergencies arrives.
  • Send word to the person designated to handle emergencies.  This person will take charge of the emergency and render any further first aid needed.
    • Note:  It is important to always be aware of the primary and secondary individuals designated for emergency situations in your school.
    • Do NOT give medications unless there has been prior approval by the student’s parent or legal guardian and doctor according to local school board policy.
    • Do NOT move a severely injured or ill student unless absolutely necessary for immediate safety.  If moving is necessary, follow guidelines in NECK AND BACK PAIN section.
    • The responsible school authority or a designated employee should notify the parent/legal guardian of the emergency as soon as possible to determine the appropriate course of action.
    • If the parent/legal guardian cannot be reached, notify an emergency contact or the parent/legal guardian substitute and call either the physician or the designated hospital on the Emergency Medical Authorization form, so they will know to expect the ill or injured student.  Arrange for transportation of the student by Emergency Medical Services (EMS), if necessary.
    • A responsible individual should stay with the injured/ill student.
    • Document all care and, if applicable, any medications given to the student.
    • Fill out a report for all injuries requiring above procedures as required by local school policy.
      • The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has created a Student Accident Report Form that may be photocopied and used as needed. The form can be found at the following link: http://dpi.wi.gov/files/forms/doc/pod1945.doc.

Call EMS:

  • The child is unconscious, semi-conscious or unusually confused.
  • The child’s has a blocked airway.
  • The child is not breathing.
  • The child is having difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or is choking.
  • The child has no pulse.
  • The child has bleeding that won’t stop.
  • The child is coughing up or vomiting blood.
  • The child has been poisoned.
  • The child has a seizure for the first time or a seizure that lasts more than five minutes.
  • The child has injuries to the neck or back.
  • The child has sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body.
  • The child’s condition is limb-threatening (for example, severe eye injuries, amputations or other injuries that may leave the child permanently disabled unless he/she receives immediate care).
  • The child’s condition could worsen or become life-threatening on the way to the hospital.
  • Moving the child could cause further injury.
  • The child needs the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians.
  • Distance or traffic conditions would cause a delay in getting the child to the hospital.
  • If any of the above conditions exist, or if you are not sure, it is best to call EMS/911.


The following is a list of minimal essential emergency equipment and resources that should be present in every school.  The list was formulated by a group of child health experts including the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses.

  • Accessible keys to locked supplies
  • Accessible list of phone resources
  • Biohazard waste bag
  • Blunt scissors
  • Clock with second hand
  • CPR staff on site when students are on the premises
  • Disposable blankets
  • Emergency cards on all staff
  • Emergency cards on all students
  • Established relationship with local EMS personnel
  • Ice (not cold packs)
  • Individual care plans for students with specialized needs
  • First-aid tape
  • Non-latex gloves
  • One-way resuscitation mask
  • Phone
  • Posters with CPR/Heimlich instructions
  • Refrigerator or cooler
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • School wide plan for emergencies
  • Soap
  • Source of oral glucose (i.e., frosting)
  • Splints
  • Staff that have received basic first-aid training
  • Variety of bandages and dressings
  • Water source, normal saline

Bobo, N.; Hallenbeck, P; Robinson, J. (2003).  Recommended Minimal Emergency Equipment and Resources for Schools; National Consensus Report.  The Journal of School Nursing, 19(3), 150-156.

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