I had always been so terrified of actually using my EpiPen.
I didn’t want to bother anyone, didn’t want to call an ambulance if I was going to get better naturally, but I risked my life on two occasions because I was just too scared – and when the swelling meant I lost my voice I decided I couldn’t call for help anyway.
When should you use your adrenaline auto injector?
It struck me that if I, a rational, intelligent young woman could feel this scared, then others may feel this way too.
I wrote this article to encourage others to have the strength to use their EpiPen and call 999 straight away. Don’t waste time.
To read about my experiences with anaphylaxis and being too scared to use the lifesaving drugs read: https://whatallergy.com/2012-01/use-your-epipen
Since writing the above article I did have another anaphylactic attack, and this time, since being seriously chastised by my family, friends, doctor and allergy specialist for not using the EpiPen when I should, I took action.
What does it feel like to administer an adrenaline auto injector?
Find out what it’s like to have an anaphylactic attack and how I got on using my EpiPen for the first time by reading https://whatallergy.com/2012-01/the-day-i-used-my-epipen-for-the-first-time.
The short version of the article is that it really doesn’t hurt; there is so much else going on that you barely feel it. If you are already struggling to breathe, developing hives, have swelling of your throat etc. injecting your thigh isn’t going to hurt.
After this third and very serious anaphylactic attack I wrote myself an Action Plan. Everyone should have one, even adults, so write one for your child and circulate it at school. I carry mine around in my bag with my EpiPen so that I, or anyone with me, has clear instructions should the need arise. See link below to download samples you can fill in yourself.
How do you administer an adrenaline autoinjector?
There are three injectors on the market in the UK at the moment; Epipen, Jext and Emerade. They all work slightly differently but are pretty similar. There is a needle inside a tube of plastic. All you need to do is remove the cap and inject the outer side of the thigh and hold the needle in place for 10 seconds.
- Always phone 999 and state ANAPHYLAXIS immediately.
- If you are still worsening, use your second injector into the other thigh.
- Use your inhaler.
- Take any antihistamines if you have them.
- Remain calm and seated. Do not walk or move.
If in doubt, always inject to be on the safe side. You won’t do any damage by injecting and you could save yours or another person’s life.
Have you used your adrenaline autoinjector?
I’d love to hear from others who have anaphylaxis and have used an EpiPen. How did you find it? Not so bad after all is it? Please share your experiences so we can help others to take action and be brave. Use Your EpiPen!
- Write an Anaphylaxis Allergy Action Plan
- Boiling Point – an anaphylaxis film review
- Anaphylaxis – The Essential Guide – The best book for anyone with anaphylaxis and their carers
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