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Epipen storage in hot sun?

16 replies [Last post]
By McKenziesMom on Fri, 06-24-05, 17:10

My 15 year old DD has a summer job this year as an assistant lifeguard at a waterpark. Normally she carries her epipen in her purse, which is with her all the time.
But she can't really carry a purse as a lifeguard, and she can carry a fannypack, but I think it would be too hot in the sun.

Any advice on how to keep the epipen "cool" would be appreciated. She may have to keep it in a lunch/thermos type bag, but it's not too practical to carry that around as they are rotating from area to area. Maybe, since they can't eat while working, she can just keep it in the lunch room? I'm a bit leary about that.

I'm trying to figure out a practical solution - any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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By Jimmy's mom on Fri, 06-24-05, 18:08

If she can carry a fanny pack, how about a small blue-ice cold pack in the fanny pack with her epi-pen?

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By MommaBear on Fri, 06-24-05, 18:14

I'm gonna have to ask my hubby how they store epinephrine and other medications on the ambulance.......

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By McKenziesMom on Fri, 06-24-05, 18:31

I thought about the icepacks, but just wondered if that was too cold? Could wrap epi's in a facecloth or sock, I guess. MommaBear, your hubby would know how cold is too cold, I'm sure- I'd appreciate his input! If the icepacks aren't too cold, that might be the easiest, since we have a couple of mini ones from school.

They can't chew gum, but she could also carry lipgloss and a sunscreen stick in the pack.

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By MommaBear on Fri, 06-24-05, 18:43

there is an article at www medscape com entitled:

[b]Stability of Advanced Life Support Drugs in the Field[/b]

but not sure, since I can't access it. No advice, I can't even read the article. Not even sure of the currentness, content, or accuracy of the article. I've since forgotten my password and even email address for it.

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By McKenziesMom on Fri, 06-24-05, 20:36


Thanks for the article. I did find it, had to register and then read it. Basically, they did a temperature test of 4 meds of which epinephrin was one. Lots of data, but the basic conclusion was that the epi's don't deteriorate unless they sustain more than 745 hours of temperature spikes up to 125 degrees.

If my DD is working in temps more than 125 degrees, she'll have more to worry about than just her epipens, so I think if she keeps them in a fannypack, maybe with an icepack on super hot days, she should be OK.

Thanks Jimmy's mom for reminding me about the icepacks - I forgot we had mini ones!


[This message has been edited by McKenziesMom (edited June 24, 2005).]

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By becca on Fri, 06-24-05, 21:02

We keep ours in a small, soft cooler, in the front pocket it. The ice brick thing is inside, so not in direct contact with it. But the space is cool. I would not see how it would be a problem to have such a cooler tucked under her chair, and to carry it with her to her next rotaion. Unless you mean that she is roaming on a regular basis, nto sitting and watching for a single spot, then moving to a new spot. She could keep a cold water bottle or two in there as well!

Ours has a shoulder strap, and I have seen smaller. It would not be any problem to just drop it and run, if she had to save a life. But, I guess there is a mouth to mouth risk, so if she drops it, she needs to know where, so she can retrieve it or have someone get it in a hurry. Hmmm. Tricky.

I guess a wearalbe fanny pack with cooler os best. I always see black, but lighter colors would stay cooler. becca

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By MommaBear on Fri, 06-24-05, 21:03

Quote:Originally posted by McKenziesMom:

Thanks for the article. I did find it, had to register and then read it. Basically, they did a temperature test of 4 meds of which epinephrin was one. Lots of data, but the basic conclusion was that the epi's don't deteriorate unless they sustain more than 745 hours of temperature spikes up to 125 degrees.



Would that called a "Safety Margin", "Safety Factor", "Margin of Safety" (MoS) or "Factor of safety" (FoS)?

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited June 24, 2005).]

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By falcon on Sat, 06-25-05, 01:43

My understanding about the epipens getting too cold is that it can cause issues with the mechanics of the auto injector somehow...not the medication. The other thing about the coldness is that it would feel pretty awful being injected with an icy cold solution...Interesting about the heat. Gives me a little more peace of mind when carrying the epi around on a hot day.
Thanks for the info.

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By selketine on Sun, 06-26-05, 17:23

My 3 yr old son who is peanut allergic is also a type 1 diabetic and the Frio wallets are popular with diabetics to carry around their insulin pens so I'm thinking perhaps it might work for an epi too. You can see them here: [url="http://www.coolerconcept.com/"]http://www.coolerconcept.com/[/url] I've never ordered from that company but heard good things about them. Perhaps call and ask if any of their products would fit an epi?

The Frio pack is activated with regular temperature tap water and it keeps things cool for a long time. It will also keep the injector from getting too cold if you have the opposite issue (like outside in freezing temps all day). Diabetics rave about Frio packs so I think they work - question is whether one of the wallets will fit the epi - if so she could put it in her fanny pack - much nicer than trying to carry a freezer pack in there!


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By McKenziesMom on Mon, 06-27-05, 13:13

Didn't get online all weekend. Thanks for the additional posts!

CarolG, I will be contacting FRIO, so I'll post later about their response. There are a variety of sizes of packs, but most of them seem to be 6-7" long, which might be too short, unless I take the epi's out of their cylinders. I'll see what they say. Maybe they'd be interested in expanding their line!

MommaBear -FoS, PoS, I'm sending an SOS! The data reminded me of my first year Economic Statistics exam, so I quickly went to the conclusions, which just basically led me to believe that while you should NEVER leave an epi in a glove compartment or hot car, it shouldn't be too big of a problem if she has them in a fanny pack. Besides I practically live in the Arctic up here in Canada, so we don't get the extreme summer heat that someone from Arizona might get, for example.

Thanks everyone!


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By hereandnow on Mon, 06-27-05, 15:24

I have taken one of those "keep it cool" bags all the supermarkets sell now, cut it up and made a kind of pocket out of it using duct tape. Very low tech but it adds some insulation fairly compactly--we then put it in a fanny pack. I figure it adds some temperature protection at least.

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By Melrose Mum on Thu, 06-30-05, 22:40

I've just ordered a couple of the FRIO packs, I'll post when I see how well they work out.... apparently they keep an internal temp of 68-72 F for up to 45 hours!
This could be the answer to our prayers!

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By selketine on Fri, 07-01-05, 02:54

I hope the Frio packs work! Those in the diabetes community swear by them it seems. My son started wearing an insulin pump in October (the same one allergic to peanuts is diabetic) and they make a Frio to fit his pump but I'm thinking that it might not work for him since he wears it in a pocket on the back of his undershirt - I think it will be too bulky. We're going to a children with diabetes conference next week and Cooler Concepts is supposed to be there selling stuff. I'm hoping to get a good look at all their packs and pick up one for his epi-pens if they have them.

Do let us know if you find one that works! I've talked to Cooler Concepts on the phone and they seem like nice folks. I hope it works out!


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By Beth on Fri, 07-01-05, 15:30

I was just browsing the epipen web site, they say "do not refrigerate, and keep at 59-86 degrees F" Just an FYI

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By selketine on Sun, 07-03-05, 02:59

If the Frio pack keeps the contents at 68-72 degrees as someone posted that should be perfect. Not as cold as a fridge.

As I said though - I have no personal experience with the frio packs - I know people use them to store their insulin vials and insulin pens and pumps in - usually the ones in use for that month. We also store insulin in the fridge that is unopened but once we open it we just try to keep it around room temp. I think that is what the Frio pack does.

Hmm....I'll have to ask - leaving for the diabetes conference in a few days!

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By Melrose Mum on Tue, 08-08-06, 01:49

I can't believe I forgot to follow up on this!! The Frio packs I got from Cooler Concepts work AMAZINGLY well!!! In fact I told the owner she should contact Chris and see about being a sponser or having a link on our website....I can't believe that I forgot to follow up on this!!! We keep one epi (in it's Epi-Mate) in the 'small wallet' and two epi-pens (in their Epi-Mates) in the 'large wallet.' Using my digital instant read thermometer, I can get an almost constant reading of 70F.
These things have CHANGED our LIVES! OH! what I think we used to go through
So sorry everyone, I just don't visit that often anymore....

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