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A Canberra mother, Adrienne Cottell, has played a pivotal role in advocating for improved diabetes management practices in ACT public schools. Her journey began when her twin daughters experienced a serious health scare at school due to diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication of diabetes. The lack of a prompt response from school staff resulted in one of her daughters requiring intensive care and ongoing recovery.

Adrienne Cottell’s tireless efforts to raise awareness and push for better training for school staff led to a legal battle and significant policy changes. Following a ruling from the ACT Civil Administrative Tribunal (ACAT), the ACT Education Directorate agreed to review procedures and provide training to ensure proper diabetes management in schools. Additionally, they allowed the carrying and administration of glucagon kits, essential in managing diabetic emergencies, on school premises.

The decision to allow individualized training for diabetes management is seen as a crucial step, particularly for children with additional health conditions that interact with diabetes. This change is expected to benefit students with conditions like coeliac disease, ADHD, autism, and others, where symptoms may vary and require personalized care.

The actions taken by Adrienne Cottell highlight the importance of ensuring a safe and supportive environment for students with medical conditions in educational settings. The commitment to continuous improvement and tailored training in managing diabetes emergencies sets a positive precedent for other schools and regions to follow, ultimately prioritizing the well-being and health of students.


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Article Title: ACT Education Directorate to review diabetes medication procedures in schools after teenager falls into diabetic ketoacidosis in class
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