Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

How To Use An Epipen Safely To Save Someone Undergoing An Anaphyalxis Attack

There are two main products that are out there at the moment for treatment of anaphylaxis.
One is the Epipen and the other is the Anapen.
Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction.
It involves the airway, it involves the throat, it involves the tissues in and around the entire body.
It's that involvement around the throat and airway that makes it such a concern.
The airway can close over.
The casualty can lose consciousness and they can eventually die.
So the treatment to use is very quick and it's using devices like the Epipen and Anapen.
The following is a brief description of them with details of their use.
Both of them contain an injection of adrenaline.
They work in similar ways but are activated differently.
Irrespective of which one you should get, if you have a patient who is suffering anaphylaxis always read the instructions.
Both have instructions written on the side.
They also have a little viewing window.
Have a look and inspect the fluid.
Make sure the fluid inside is clear and is free of debris floating in it.
Also make sure that it is not out of date.
Epipens come in two colours.
The green one is for children up to the age of 5.
And the orange coloured one is for people 5 years and over.
The Epipen has been on the market for quite a long time.
If you read the instructions it will take you step-by-step through how to use it.
The first thing you do is remove the safety cap.
That arms it ready for use.
When you hold the Epipen, the position you should hold it is with your thumb wrapped around the front or around the side of it.
This is important.
It has a needle that is spring-loaded.
So put it against the side of the leg of the patient.
It will go through clothes but if they are wearing jeans make sure it is not pressed against the seam.
And when you press it in you'll hear a click.
That will activate the needle that's inside of it and they will be injected.
You should hold it there for 10 or 15 seconds before removing it.
Then give it a bit of a rub.
You will notice that one end has a needle guard.
It covers the needle after the person has been given the injection.
This makes unit safer after an injection by no longer having a sharp to deal with.
Remember to rub the injection area to help the adrenalin go in.
Write on the pen the time you gave it and this goes off with the casualty.
Most people who suffer anaphylaxis may carry an Epipen.
If they haven't responded in 5 minutes you can give a second injection.
That's something to keep in mind.
As I mentioned earlier it's important to put your thumb around the front.
The reason is what can and does happen is people take off the little blue cap at the end.
They have a look and go "There's the hole.
That must be the bit where the need comes through".
You can imagine then if that's the case and they jab themselves like that, the needle will actually go into their thumb.
Now adrenaline constricts blood vessels and they can suffer from something akin to frostbite.
They can lose their thumb from the injection of the adrenaline.
It's actually very serious.
Always when using these devices it's important to wrap your thumb around the front.
To really understand how to use an Epipen correctly you should do a First Aid course.
Or at the very least watch a video on how to use an Epipen safely.

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