Prescribed for people who experience severe allergic reactions with anaphylaxis, the EpiPen serves as an emergency treatment. People who experience near-fatal reactions from bee stings or other causes carry EpiPens with them at all times. If you or someone you know goes into anaphylactic shock, it is important to know how to use the EpiPen effectively–it could keep an allergy sufferer from experiencing a fatal reaction.
- Skill level:
Things you need
Hold the EpiPen in one hand, making a fist around it. Make sure the orange tip of the pen is pointing downward.
Remove the blue safety piece from the other end of the EpiPen, using your free hand.
Put the arm holding the EpiPen at your side, aiming the tip of the pen at your outer thigh area.
Swing your arm back, and bring the tip of the EpiPen into your outer thigh, firmly. Push the pen into your thigh until it makes a clicking noise. There is no need to remove your clothing, as the EpiPen is designed to go through fabric.
Hold the EpiPen in place for approximately 10 seconds.
Remove the pen and massage the area of the injection softly. Seek medical attention, promptly, and be sure to take the EpiPen with you. Side effects make driving while under the influence of EpiPen dangerous. Have someone drive you or call an ambulance when seeking medical attention after the injection.
Remove the blue safety tab from the top of the EpiPen.
Aim the orange tip at the outer side of one of the person's thighs.
Stick the pen into the person's thigh with a firm motion. Use a slight stabbing motion.
Hold the pen in place for 10 seconds.
Call 911 or take the person to the ER after rubbing the area for an additional 10 seconds. Keep the EpiPen with the person when they seek medical care.
Tips and warnings
- Do not inject the EpiPen into a vein or into the buttocks. According to EpiPen warnings, this may render the injection ineffective.
- Side effects of EpiPen include irregular or increased heartbeat, profuse sweating, shakiness, irritability and others. People who have heart problems are more likely to experience these side effects.
- Do not inject the EpiPen when there is no need for it. Accidental or deliberate misuse of the pen can be dangerous. Seek medical care immediately if this happens.
- EpiPens are not substitutes for medical treatment. They are intended only to provide time to seek medical attention.
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