Classroom Medical Emergency Guidelines

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

Call | Dismiss | Support/Communicate

In the unlikely event that a student in your course experiences an unexpected emergency medical situation, you are advised to do the following:

1. Call 911.

If you are unsure, be safe and call 911. Be prepared to provide essential details to the operator: name and room number of the building and any related idiosyncratic detail; the nature of the emergency (e.g.; seizing; unresponsive; complaining of chest pains).

2. Dismiss the class, even if you are giving an exam.

The incident will disrupt your class time whether you dismiss your students or not. By dismissing them, you will provide first responders easier access to the student in need. In addition, the student of concern will be provided with more privacy during a challenging and vulnerable personal situation. Finally, dismissing the class immediately may spare other students in the class emotional discomfort. If you are giving an exam, you can ask your students to leave their exam on their desk.

3. Stay with the student in need until help arrives; allow helpful students to remain.

Many of our students are trained in CPR and/or other medical interventions. Students who are not trained are unlikely to remain at the scene to offer assistance unless they are friends of the student in which case their moral support might be beneficial. Each person ultimately will remain responsible for their own actions in this situation, but if a student offers to intervene directly, it would be appropriate to inform the 911 operator (e.g., "Student at the scene is now going to administer CPR.")

4. After the incident, alert the dean of students’ office (513-529-1877) and your chair.

Providing the student’s name and other related details to select university officials who have a need to know will not violate the student’s privacy rights, either HIPPA or FERPA. It will allow the university to reach out to the student to check on their status and ensure they are connected to appropriate and desired resources.

5. Follow up with your class within 24 hours; consider reaching out to the student of concern.

Within 24 hours of the incident, send an email to the entire class that is informative but concise. The email should explain what impact, if any, the incident will have for them as students (e.g., "We will have the quiz next period, instead," or "We will simply not cover that reading, and you will not be tested on it"). It also may indicate what they need to do to prepare for the next class period. The email should avoid divulging medical or other personal details of the incident (e.g., student’s name; condition; prognosis). The dean of student and student health services offices will be responsible for sharing necessary health information to the students. Also, you might consider sending a separate follow-up email to the student of concern offering your support and directing them to the dean of students’ office for resources.