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Epi-Pen for Asthma?

11 replies [Last post]
By Cam's Mom on Wed, 02-12-03, 18:14

I was watching the movie "Signs", and Mel Gibson's son on the movie has asthma, in the movie, he injected him with an epi-pen for an attack. I thought that was real interesting, and had never heard of an epi being prescribed for asthma.

After I thought about it, it does make sense, b/c it opens the airways. Has anyone else heard of this?

Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By on Wed, 02-12-03, 18:48

Cam's Mom, yes, the Epi-pen is used for asthma, I think when it's really bad. I know I saw this on Third Watch, Doc and Carlos were having an argument basically about whether to administer the Epi-pen or not.

I just had a thread recently about Epi-pens causing wear and tear on the body and if you take a look at that, you will see, from the [url="http://www.maycoclinic.com"]www.maycoclinic.com[/url] description, that Epi-pens are used for asthma.

Also, I notice more and more when I'm watching TV shows, particularly things like E.R. that I hear them say "grab the Epi".

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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By kelly01 on Wed, 02-12-03, 20:58

Hi Lana:

My mom (now in her 70's) had asthma as a young woman. This was before several of the asthma medications that we know of today were used. Whenever she would have a bad asthma attack, she would go to the ER and get a shot of adrenaline (Epinephrine).

My understanding is that it is still used in severe cases today. My doctor sort of described Epinephrine as a "jump start" for the body, and that it is used in a variety of situations.

Take care,


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By ChasenRemisMom on Tue, 11-08-11, 17:17

I am an asthmatic and twice in high school I was given an epi shot. Once in an urgent care facility. I remeber my albuterol not working and seeing my mom at the end of the bed. I thought I was never going to see her again. I passed out and vaguely remeber hearing the Dr. yelling give her the epi. I can to a few seconds later, it saved my life.

When I was a senior in high school I played water polo & was playing in the regional championship game....the pool we were playing in was not ventilated well. I was pulled from the pool and a paramedic gave me an epi shot. I am convinced I would not be here if it weren't for the epi pen!

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By California Mom on Wed, 02-12-03, 21:23

My daughter's kindergaren teacher needed to use the epi-pen twice for asthma during the year my dd was in her class. Ironically she was really not a good teacher for dd, and did some really crummy exclusionary things to Leah while she was in her class. Miriam

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By Ginger on Thu, 02-13-03, 14:48

Hi there!
My DS and I both have asthma. Yes, I have been given epi in the ER several times. I have stated in our EHP(Emergency health plan) for my son, that the epi pen is for both an anaphylactic reaction & a severe asthma attack. The only time epi would be given for asthma is when all others means of treatment for asthma does not help. Hope this helps.....

Take care,

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By Cam's Mom on Thu, 02-13-03, 17:09

Thanks guys for all the info...I had never heard of it, but like I said, after seeing it, it really did make sense. You just never know what to believe in movies, so I knew if anyone knew the answer, it be someone here! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Guess we learn something everyday... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On a side note, when Mel gave the shot, it was real interesting, since I've never actually seen it done on a "real" person, just the demonstrations. My 17 yr old son was watching the movie, and we rewound it to see it again.

Thanks again,
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By joeybeth on Thu, 02-13-03, 22:19

lana: i once asked my chidrens' allergist what would happen if i mistook an asthma attack for a peanut exposure/reaction and he said it would be okay to inject the epi-pen if i was unsure. he said there would be no ill effect and that the epi would most likely have a positive effect on the asthma attack. i felt much better after that. for one of my girls, her asthma attacks really do look a lot like her peanut reactions. joey

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By on Mon, 02-17-03, 05:54

Cam's Mom, just saw it again yesterday in the movie Signs with Mel Gibson. His son has an asthma attack and he does not have his asthma puffer with him. By the time they are able to get out of the situation they're in, Mel Gibson (yummy Dad [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ) yells for the others to get the child's puffers and the ephinephrine. Then, you see him inject an Epi-pen in the child's thigh.

Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but I suspect it's just the same as with PA. Since the child's asthma attack was so far progressed, the Epi-pen really didn't work and the child *should* have been dead except for the miracle that occurs in the movie. The same as if an anaphylactic reaction is too far progressed before an Epi-pen is administered.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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By Zach's Mom on Mon, 02-17-03, 20:49

I was told by our allergist that before albuterol was invented for asthma, if a child was wheezing in the office long ago they used epi pens to open up the airways quickly.

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By j_frene on Tue, 08-10-10, 02:50

I'm a paramedic. Our pre-hospital protocol for severe asthma is the administration of epinephrine if we have to ventilate a patient due to severe asthma exacerbation...

With an asthmatic, swelling is caused by fluid in the tissues of the airway. This fluid is shifted out of the cardiovascular fluid volume into the tissue, similar to an anaphylactic reaction. The epinephrine (adrenaline) pulls the fluid back out of the swollen airway tissue, back into the cardiovascular system, reducing the swelling...that being said, just as is the case with an anaphylactic reaction, once the epinephrine wears off, the swelling will re-occur...so consider this treatment as a means to buy you time until you can get to a hospital or get the hospital (ambulance) to the patient.

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By peanutskill on Mon, 11-28-11, 03:57

I believe you can experience anaphylaxis from asthma. And there is exercise induced anaphylaxis.

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