Autoinjector Epi-Pen Instructions

autoinjector Epi Pen

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Autoinjector Epi-Pen Correct Administration

Adrenaline autoinjector Epi-Pens are the syringe device that enables anyone to treat a person having an anaphylaxis event without having any prior medical training. 

You might know or have heard of autoinjectors by their brand names, Epi-Pen and Anapen. 

Adrenaline in the form of epinephrine is the first line of treatment for a person having an allergic emergency called anaphylaxis

What Is Anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis results from a person having a severe allergic reaction to something their immune system cannot deal with. People with known allergies will carry an autoinjector everywhere they go to prevent death if they are exposed to the source allergen they are severely allergic to. 

An example of two common severe allergies are peanuts and shellfish.

What Is An Anaphylaxis Action Plan

An action plan is a list of things to do in the correct order for someone at risk of having an anaphylactic medical emergency. In Australia, ASCIA is the main source for acquiring an anaphylaxis action plan but not the only source of such information. Your Anaphylaxis Action Plan will have instructions on how to use your autoinjector Epi-Pen.

Why Is Adrenaline Needed To Treat Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and adrenaline is a life-saving treatment. Adrenaline reverses a severe allergic reaction by treating the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Adrenaline also assists with breathing difficulties and maintains heart function and stable blood pressure. Adrenaline works within minutes of the injection being delivered into the outer thigh, and the effects will last between 10 to 20 minutes.

Adrenaline is a hormone produced naturally in the body to assist with the fight or flight response and is safe when given using an adrenaline autoinjector. Anyone who carries an autoinjector Epi-Pen will have the correct dosage for their treatment requirements. 

If a small child is only afforded the option of an adult dose, then it is recommended to give the adult dose as over-treatment is better than under-treatment leading to death. The adrenaline will wear off after around fifteen minutes.

What Exactly Are Adrenaline Injectors

Adrenaline injectors are devices also known as autoinjector Epi-Pens that contain a single fixed dose of adrenaline. They have been designed for use by people with no medical training yet who need to provide First Aid. Adrenaline injectors are administered by placing the orange end containing the needle into the outer mid-thigh pressing down, and holding for a long count of three Mississippi’s.

Autoinjectors can be given through a single layer of thin cotton clothing, not heavy denim jeans or personal protective equipment like overalls or boiler suits.

Unlike some injections, autoinjectors can be self-administered by the person entering anaphylaxis if they can catch their emergency situation quickly. Adrenaline pens have a short shelf life compared to some medications, lasting only one year before they are deemed out of date. 

That doesn’t mean the content of an expired autoinjector won’t work in an emergency, simply that the company that produced it will not guarantee that the product will do the job it was designed to do at the level intended. Instructions for use and an expiry date are clearly printed on the label of the device.

If you ever have to administer an adrenaline pen, keep the spent casing to give to the paramedics and the time you gave it or an approximation as close as you can get in minutes passed since you gave the injection if you don’t have a watch.

How Do I Use An Autoinjector Correctly

The hyperlink will take you to the ASCIA website, where you can watch short videos on correctly using and administering an Epi-Pen and an Anapen for people who need visual instruction.

Consider Taking A FACE First Aid Course

Face First Aid courses save lives and certify successful applicants in basic First Aid and CPR with same day certification upon completion of the course. Visit our FACE website and discover our FACE Blog page, filled with information and articles to inform, inspire and broaden your First Aid general knowledge. 

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