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How to Use Epinephrine for an Anaphylactic Reaction

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There are people around you all the time with severe allergies. Would you be able to save their life if they had an anaphylactic reaction? Scary thought, but it’s not as intimidating as it sounds! Epinephrine delivery devices are designed to be easy to use. Let me talk you through their usage, and show you what an activated epi pen looks like (on a clear plastic water bottle so you can see what’s going on inside!)

I’m dr. rachel langley i’m a physician here at pine ridge family medicine and i wanted to address some common concerns about anaphylactic reactions and use of ebi pets we’ve often been in situations probably me at least and probably you too where we’ve been in charge of epi pens or been around people with severe allergies and wondered what we would do if something

Bad happened i remember the first time i wanted on a trip with some kids and one of them had a bad allergy and i was handed one of these and my heart stopped for a minute wondering what it would be like to administer an epipen and how serious of a thing that would be and how scared i was and how much i hoped and prayed that that kid didn’t have a severe reaction

But that shouldn’t be a response to this and that’s kind of the point of this video i hope you’re not having an emergency right now and instead watching this in advance of something like that happening because that’s the best time to think about it and wonder what it would be like so let’s talk through that and hopefully kind of calm down some of your fears about

Giving epi pens giving a dose of epinephrine because it can definitely save lives and it’s it’s one of the best things to know how to do i’ve got a training pen to demonstrate with you i’ve got one expired dose of epi that i hope to be able to administer to this bottle and show you how it actually works and i’ve got one of the other models like here so i can show you

The basics of that to so that you’re prepared no matter what so what is an anaphylactic reaction so it’s a severe allergic reaction a lot of us have had times when we’ve had runny nose itchy eyes from seasonal allergies that’s an allergic reaction that’s true a lot of us have had hives before whether it was after an antibiotic or with a really bad seasonal episode

Sometimes your skin starts reacting as well it feels itchy those bumps are really uncomfortable those are all allergic reactions anaphylaxis takes it up to another level anaphylaxis has to involve multiple organ systems so it’s not going to be your just your skin obviously if it was just your skin it wouldn’t be life-threatening and we wouldn’t have to give epi but

The concern is that it’s involving your whole body instead of just this one area where you got bug bite and it’s itchy and irritating that instead of having that allergic response to that just that one area it’s throughout your whole body and your whole body is freaking out and it needs epinephrine to help push it through that badly allergic response so that multi

Organ system involvement is called anaphylaxis some of the key points of anaphylaxis is that it’s fast it comes on within minutes to hours if it’s been a couple hours since your allergic reactions started you can be pretty confident that it’s not going to go into anaphylaxis it tends to happen fast after the initial onset it does tend to usually involve some kind

Of skin involvement or inside your mouth that kind of skin mucosal skin involvement – so that might be bumps like hives they are probably going to be itchy or sometimes when it comes on really fast you just turn bright red sometimes i can spot an anaphylactic reaction from across the room because they just turn bright red and they look kind of uncomfortable and

Panicked they can feel something is going wrong it’s often for the other involvement other system being involved it’s a breathing problem that’s a classic one that you hear about is that you start having your throat closing off with those bumps with the inflammation going on with the histamines circulating through your body and you stop breathing and that’s what

We’re trying to avoid with all this but you also have other important systemic involvement that’s not so obvious blood pressure drops alarmingly during anaphylaxis but that’s not something that you’re necessarily gonna see if you’re chaperoning a school trip and i get i get some gets exposed to something they’re allergic to that’s not something that you’re going to

Be able to bust out your blood pressure cuff necessarily but you might see fainting the the kid might faint and have hives starting to bust out be turning bright red that would be a sign that you need to bust out that epipen and use it right away but sometimes it also involves stomach symptoms you might have vomiting or sudden diarrhea or even incontinence loss

Of control of pee or poop those are all normal i mean they’re all very real additions to the respiratory compromise that we’re worried about that can tip you off – hey we need to use this epipen and the big messages that i want to get across here is just use the epinephrine remember epinephrine is also called adrenaline this is the same chemical that’s courses

During your body when your see that guy you have a crush on and you get all excited or it’s the same one that comes on when you’re about to start a race and you’re getting all amped up it’s you i bet all of you have had the experience of having a sudden surge of adrenaline a sudden surge of epinephrine and it feels very similarly so getting a shot of epinephrine

Is not going to hurt you if you’re not having an allergic reaction if the kid isn’t having an allergic reaction it’s a much better idea to use it and to not have used it i’ve really needed to use the epinephrine rather than that actually a been an anaphylactic reaction and you didn’t use it you can resolve a lot of those symptoms by using epinephrine early and i

Mean you still need to go into the er and get checked out i have to use that epinephrine but that can save someone’s life on their way to the emergency room because it does happen so fast minutes two hours okay so use the epinephrine you’ve decided to use that the nephron a lot of times when you get an epipen it comes with a trainer just for this reason that gets

You comfortable with it so this is a trainer it talks you through the instructions there you can tell that as a trainer because it has i mean the big words trainer across it that you went the way that it works as you pull the blue cap off this is a trainer so i’m going to stab myself in the leg and it’s going to be okay and all you do is stab it into a big muscle

Group like a leg and hold it for a second the needle is so small that you can hardly feel at all i don’t think you can feel it at all maybe a little kid could feel it a little bit more try to hold it in place because you tend to be excited and nervous obviously if you’re treating so much for anaphylaxis so to make sure that all that medicine goes in there try to

Count what do they say count to ten seconds one mississippi two mississippi three mississippi four mississippi five mississippi six mississippi seven mississippi eight mississippi nine mississippi ten and then you can tell that it went because the the tip on the actual delivery device will extend to cover the needle so the you can’t use it again on the trainer

Obviously you want to be able to use it again so you can stick it back in and practice and show your caregivers how to use this and be able to actually practice on yourself practice on a child get the nice of that idea so here is an expired epipen i’m hoping that you can see this i’ve got a water bottle it has a little bit of water in it because i was drinking and

Hydrating today but it talks through the instructions right there it says first to use this remove the blue safety release by pulling straight out without put twist bending or twisting so you just pull off the blue cap and then you hold it oh this one says three seconds that’s more reasonable so i’m gonna stab it into the bottle and you might be able to see the

Little squirt of medicine you might be able to see the tiniest needle hopefully that’ll be educational play the bottle we’ll be able to tolerate this come on ah there you go that was super cool i hope i got a good shot of that you can see the needle still in there and i retract it and it gets covered by the orange thing and there’s a small amount of epinephrine

In there and we just leave this water bottles life not really just kidding water bottles mine so you can see that now we’re used to be an open space right there you could see the medicine in there it’s now been plunged down the needle is covered up so you can’t hurt yourself really cool little device really expensive sometimes hopefully they’ll cut back on that

This is another device for administering epinephrine just different packaging and this one talks to you as soon as you take it out of the case so this is a case around it to protect you from whatever’s in there and then needle in the medicine so you pull it out and it’s gonna start talking so it’s gonna be really similar you pull off this so i’m not gonna pull

This off because we are still hoping to have this on hands so you can see the red card on the bottom kind of like this blue cap on top you pull it off of this here and you do the same thing here you pull it down and then you put it on the patient’s leg and hold it in place for a couple seconds and the needle will come out and deliver the medicine and then retract

Really small needle again can inject through clothes no problem and it’s really not painful and it’s worth it if there’s any chance that this person needs it to save their life it’s totally worth it so hopefully that gives you a little bit more comfortable with what an epipen is what if epipen does when you should use it why you should use it they’re amazing bits

Of medicine and definitely use them and if you want to learn more about allergic reactions and allergic responses since it’s such a common issue in today’s society you can click on that video there that might be helpful and definitely subscribe to our channel right here so that you can learn more things about your health thanks for watching

Transcribed from video
How to Use Epinephrine for an Anaphylactic Reaction By Pine Ridge Family Medicine