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How to use or administer an EpiPen

12th September 2019

Epipens have been in the market for a very long time now. Read the product instruction manual, to know the steps to administer it properly. To use the EpiPen, you have to first remove its safety cap. When you hold the EpiPen, wrap your thumb around the front or around the sides of the EpiPen. This is a crucial step. Remember that is has a needle that is loaded with spring. 

Now, place it against the leg of the patient, over the clothes as it will go past the clothing, but where the patient is wearing jeans make sure it is not pressed as against the seam of the denim. When you press it, you will hear a clicking sound. 

The clicking sound is an indication that the needle is already activated and they can now be injected. You should hold it in for at least 10 to 15 seconds prior to removing, then give the area injected a slow rub. 

After that, use the needle guard located at the other end of the EpiPen. This needle guard covers the needle after the patient has been given an injection. It makes the EpiPen safe after injection. 

Make sure you rub the area injected by the EpiPen to help the skin absorb the adrenalin. Label the pen with the time you administered it. 

If the patient has not responded for approximately 5 minutes, you can give them another shot. 

Epipens are available in two colour variants. The green EpiPen is used for children who are aged 5 years old and below, while the orange EpiPen is to be administered in patients 5 years and older.

What is Anaphylaxis – how can you prevent it?

Anaphylaxis is the medical term for severe allergic reaction. This can be caused by several factors. The leading allergies that often results in anaphylaxis are food, rubber or latex, medications, and insect bites. 

Anaphylaxis can lead to swelling and horrible rashes and can result in shortness of breath, tightening of the chest, and severe anxiety. This medical condition can be life-threatening. If not treated within minutes, the allergy can be fatal. 

Anaphylaxis is characterized by an acute allergic reaction. It includes the airways, the throat, and the tissues in and around our body. It is the allergic reaction around the throat and airways that can make it a matter of immediate concern. The airways can close very fast and the patient can lose consciousness or worse, die. Very severe allergies must not be ignored and it must be treated immediately. 

Here are some effective ways one can prevent anaphylaxis:

Prevention

After you know that you have severe allergies, you must avoid all triggers at all cost to prevent any allergies. For example, if you have allergies to certain medicines, include that in your medical history and let your dentist, nurse, or doctor know. If you have an allergy with certain insect bites, wear protective clothing and use insect repellant all the time. When you have food allergies, always check the ingredients of food before eating. These simple preventive measures can go a long way in saving you or a loved one. 

Testing

The tragedy comes when you do not know that you have certain allergies. This can be prevented by consulting your doctor. They can run some tests using allergen extracts and vaccines to know if you have allergies. Adults and children must take time to have allergy tests.

Treatment

Always make sure you have an emergency anaphylaxis kit with you all the time. This will contain your medication in case of allergies and your EpiPen. That way you can easily inject it on your arm or leg when needed. Make sure that people around you know exactly how to use and inject EpiPens. 

There are various types of emergency kits for anaphylactic patients. An EpiPen is a good example of auto-injectors of epinephrine that can be easily used by patients of all ages. The only problem with these kits are, they easily get lost or misplaced by the patient. If you often find yourself in such a predicament, it is best to have an EpiPen holder. This will help ensure that you will always have your epinephrine medication with you when you need it the most.

Anaphylaxis is no laughing matter. If you get tested for chronic allergies, you have to arm yourself with the right knowledge and information on how to handle an anaphylaxis emergency. Always have your emergency anaphylaxis treatment with you wherever you go, for you and your loved ones peace of mind.