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How to use an EpiPen

 

EpiPen – Epinephrine

The EpiPen is a disposable, automatic injection used in the first aid setting for the management of anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction. It contains a synthetic version of adrenaline called epinephrine; hence the name EpiPen. Evidence suggests that delayed administration of epinephrine leads to a higher rate of fatalities.

 

How to administer an EpiPenremoving EpiPen cap

  1. Call for assistance.
  2. Do not leave the patient alone.
  3. Lay the patient flat, if they are having trouble breathing, allow them to sit. Do not allow them to stand or walk.
  4. Remove the allergen.
  5. Remove the autoinjector from the carrier tube, inspect and confirm that it is within the expiry date and that the solution is clear.
  6. Hold firmly with orange tip pointing downwards Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh…”
  7. Remove safety cap by pulling straight upwards (no bending or twisting).
  8. Push the orange tip firmly into the mid outer thigh until you hear a “click”.
  9. Hold in place for 3 seconds.
  10. Remove from patient’s thigh, the orange needle cover will automatically extend to cover the needle.EpiPen administration
  11. Safely dispose of autoinjector (preferably into a sharps container).
  12. If little or no improvement after 5 minutes, consider further adrenaline doses.

 

NOTE: Adrenaline is fast acting, but also has a relatively short half-life (meaning it wears off quickly). Consider the need for subsequent doses after approximately 5 minutes. This is why most known anaphylactics’ tend to carry at least 2 EpiPens’ with them at all times.