Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to use an EpiPen

First of all, let me just start by telling you that you don't get to stab someone in the heart when you administer an EpiPen.
I know. 
I was disappointed too.

You actually only get to stab them in the thigh.
And really, you don't even get to stab them.
There is no needle.

It's very anticlimactic.

When you live with someone with an anaphylactic allergy it's important to know where they keep their EpiPen and how to use it.

My mom's EpiPen came with a "trainer" for practicing. It even gives you audible instructions on how to use it.  It looks just like the real thing... except it black instead of bright orange.
It's quite easy to follow the step by step instructions. Remove the cap and then press it against the leg and push the button. Hold for five seconds and that's it. You can even do it though jeans.

In a way it's actually quite reassuring how easy it is to use. There is no throwing someone on a table ripping open their shirt and jabbing them in the heart.

Often times the person can even administer their own EpiPen if they catch their reaction early enough.

This is the real EpiPen
It is important to know, however, that after a person receives an ejection from an EpiPen they often begin to shake uncontrollably. This is often mistaken for a seizure. Really it's just the effect of the adrenaline shot they just received.

To reduce the seizure like side effect the person can take two benadryl BEFORE administering the EpiPen, if they have time.

After having to use and EpiPen it is recommended to go to the hospital. 
(The person receiving the injection, not the person giving it)

If you travel with a person who has an anaphylactic allergy ask them where they keep their EpiPen. It's good to know, just in case.

If you carry an EpiPen yourself, it is always a good idea to tell those you are with that you carry one and where it is.

You also might want to make sure they know how to use it.... 
otherwise they might try to stab you in the heart.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Michelle. Great information with just enough humor. Maybe you should get a job writing manuals. At least your manuals would be fun to read.