RESCUE Illinois Schools

RESCUE Illinois Schools

In 2018, legislation was enacted that permits Illinois schools to maintain a stock of undesignated asthma medication to be used for respiratory emergencies by school nurses and other school personnel, who are trained annually. In 2023, with State of Illinois funding, the RESCUE Illinois Schools program was established, providing asthma rescue medication and equipment to the majority of Illinois public schools. In the 2024 Session of the General Assembly, RHA successfully lobbied for another year of funding for RESCUE Illinois Schools.

Since the start of this school year, RHA in partnership with RESCUE Illinois Schools, trained over 2,500 school staff and provided equipment and medications to more than 3,000 (80%) Illinois schools. Between September and early May, over 250 schools in 33 counties reported using the emergency medication 531 times on students in respiratory distress. In 77% of these 531 cases, students were able to return to class following treatment. Only five students were transported by ambulance to a hospital emergency department. School nurses estimate that without the emergency asthma medication, 119 additional students would have ended up requiring emergency medical care, with costs exceeding $1.3 million.