Do you know how to use an EpiPen?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Donna Mastriani
How to use your EpiPen
The EpiPen user guide explains that using an EpiPen doesn’t have to be too difficult. If you have been prescribed an EpiPen by your doctor then you need to familiarise yourself with the simple user’s guide. If you or someone you know looks like they are going into anaphylactic shock, then you need to administer epinephrine in order to stop anaphylaxis.
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxisitself is a severe allergic reaction which can have devastating consequences. Reactions usually begin within a couple of minutes and it is essential you treat it right away. Watch out for swelling of the glands, widespread flushing of the skin, and also nettle rash! Common signs of anaphylaxis, particularly when peanuts are involved include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. An allergy test may help you to identify what your symptoms are and what is causing them, but it will not cure your allergies.
How do you do it?
So, how do you use an EpiPen?
1) Remove the Pen
Hold your EpiPen and unscrew the yellow cap from the container, then you should slide out the EpiPen.
2) Remove the Gray Safety Cap
Take off the grey safety cap from the back of the EpiPen. If you do not do this, then it will not work as the cap has to be removed.
3) Inject the Epinephrine
You do not have to remove any clothes in order to use the EpiPen. Hold the EpiPen with your hand in a fist, and then press the black, rounded tip hard into the thigh. Count to ten whilst you hold the instrument in place. Remember it can penetrate the clothing.
4) Immediately call 999
If you are experiencing an allergic reaction then you should immediately call 999. Even if you don’t think it is an allergic reaction, you should never take a risk, especially as epinephrine is only a quick fix. Sometimes, it could even be necessary to provide a second dose of epinephrine.
Remember, and we must emphasise this, please dispose of the epinephrine properly. Do not just chuck it away.
Allergy testing is essential
With food allergies becoming more common in children, there is a massive need for people to be aware of what to do. Many doctors recommend that parents always carry automatic epinephrine injectors that can be used if their child has an anaphylactic reaction. The same applies if they were an adult.
An allergy test can help you to identify your allergies or intolerances but do you know what to do if you have an allergic reaction? Depending on your allergies and reactions, it is likely that you will have to use an EpiPen.