Anaphylaxis is a systemic, life threatening allergic reaction that requires swift action. National Jewish Health registered nurse Emily Cole explains how to use an EpiPen, a potentially lifesaving medication for children and adults suffering a severe allergic reaction.
Hi my name is Emily Cole and I'm a registered nurse here at National Jewish Health in the pediatric department. I'm going to be teaching you how to use an EpiPen. An EpiPen is a very important key in saving a child's life when there is a severe anaphylactic reaction going on. Many parents are very scared to use the EpiPen but don't be because it could save your child's life.
The EpiPen comes in a two-pack like this. You remove the EpiPen from the plastic container, you hold the EpiPen in your hand tightly within your palm you never want to cover any of the openings the ends. The orange end is going to be the needle, the blue end is what you're going to pull off to activate. So in order to activate the EpiPen you remove the blue cap and you will inject it into the lateral thigh which is the big muscle on the outside portion of the child's leg. So you hold it at a 90 degree angle and you insert until you hear a click and you hold that click for 10 seconds.
Most parents don't know that it's okay to use this through the child's clothing so don't worry about hassling trying to get their clothes off you can just do it through their clothes. After 10 seconds you're going to remove the EpiPen and massage that area gently for 10 seconds and then you're going to call 9-1-1.
There is a second EpiPen in the pack just in case emergency services have not shown up in about 15 to 20 minutes or in case the reaction is getting more severe. If you have any questions you can contact your health care provider. An EpiPen is a prescription that you can get through your primary care physician.
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