Jan 27, 2012 12:51 AM by Carolyn Carver

13-year-old lends friend without asthma inhaler, both facing expulsion

Two Monument middle schoolers are facing expulsion and serving out a ten day suspension after one lent the other her inhaler. Breana Crites, 13, says she thought she was having an asthma attack during P.E. last week like she's seen so many people around her experience, so like them she thought an inhaler was the answer.

"I was really out of breath and I started panicking which made it even worse. Alyssa asked me if I was alright and I thought I had an asthma attack so that's what I told her so she offered me her inhaler and I took it," Crites says.

But she's never been diagnosed with asthma and does not have a prescription for an inhaler. When the nurse found out she used her friends inhaler, both 8th graders were suspended for 10 days and are still facing expulsion.

"I thought I was having an asthma attack and so I thought the inhaler would help me and she was just trying to be a good friend and help out," Crites says.

Both girls say it was an innocent and honest mistake and that they've definitely learned their lesson.

Alyssa McKinney says, "I wouldn't have given it to her if I would have known and I feel bad for giving it to her."

Now the girls say they just hope they can come back to school and their parents say they hope the school will use this experience as a teaching opportunity and give their children a second chance, because afterall, this is the first time either has ever been in trouble.

We also wanted to get an experts opinion on sharing inhalers. Dr. Daniel Soteres says if Crites had an allergy or heart condition, the medicine in the inhaler could have been very dangerous.

"Cardiac problems can cause shortness of breath, and Albuterol, the treatment we use for asthma attacks could make that worse," he says.

He says asthma is very common, with 6.5%of adults in Colorado diagnosed 9% percent of children. He also says 10 people in the United States die of an attack every day.

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