can an epipen misfire?

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2004 - 5:19am
melissa's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

This may be a dumb question, but I never thought about it until I heard you should carry 2 epipens in case one misfires (or in case you need another while getting to the hospital)...how would you know if the epipen misfired? How often does this happen?
Thanks,
Melissa

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2004 - 5:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I think it is possible that the mechanism could fail - but, I don't recall [b]ever[/b] hearing about that happen.
However, here is a link to a thread that explains quite well why it's good to have more then one.
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum18/HTML/000203.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum18/HTML/000203.html[/url]
Also, you could need a second one before you get to the hospital.

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2004 - 12:58pm
smartalyk's picture
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Joined: 07/20/2004 - 09:00

Well, I had been told when we got our Epi-Pens that they can go through pants, etc. I have since read that if you administer it through a thick fabric like denim, it can bend the needle and cause it to misfire.
We have six Epi-Pens in total. Gosh they are expensive aren't they? Almost time to replace them too!! We leave two at school, one is with our son, one is with me, one is on the kitchen cabinet, one is at Auntie's house where he visits often.
And they say that you can administer them every ten to fifteen minutes until you get to the hospital if the swelling/breathing etc isn't improving.
HTH,

Posted on: Wed, 07/28/2004 - 4:58am
mary beth's picture
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Joined: 01/10/2004 - 09:00

Yes! It can misfire, especially if you're not accustomed to using it. It happened to us. see our story in reactions/stories. Back then my username was juliasmom.
Let me know if you have any additional questions about our experience.
Mary Beth

Posted on: Wed, 07/28/2004 - 9:16pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I haven't ever had one misfire but I would imagine it could happen if not being handled properly. If it is just in its case and not being played with i would think your ok.
We just had Chris use ours that expired for practise and everything went accordingly.
I have heard of smaller children getting hold of theirs and sending it off. But that would be a neglect of taking care of it properly.
We have had an epi for 17 years and never had it fall into the wrong hands.
As far as expense our insurance has been excellent so we haven't had to pay very much.
The last one I picked up was only $10.00.
So we are very fortunate. We have great medical insurance.
Take care and good luck Claire

Posted on: Wed, 07/28/2004 - 9:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mary Beth, it's your post in the reactions thread that I put a link to. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Some things just sort of stay in your head - and that's one of the ones I remember. It's one of the reasons I now carry extra epi-pens.

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 2:28am
melissa's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

Thanks everyone...I now have 2 epi's that I carry w/ us and 2 in the house, plus 2 at my mom's (2 mins away)...still nervous about how to use it, so I think we'll practice w/ one on an orange and just fork out the $ for another.
Melissa

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 12:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Melissa, you can use an epi trainer to practice with. And that way everyone can have a turn.
Does anyone know where to get one in the states? Is it directly from Dey?
(Canadians can get one from Anaphylaxis Canada.)
Edited to add: After the epipens expire you can use the to practise on fruit. But remember to bend in the sharpie (instructions on how to do that safely on Dey's web-site) and then return the epi to a pharmacy for proper disposal.
[This message has been edited by AnnaMarie (edited July 29, 2004).]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 11:26pm
mary beth's picture
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Joined: 01/10/2004 - 09:00

Sorry, AnnaMarie, I didn't realize that was the link you provided.
Others who have had to use the epipen might wants to give their 2 cents on this, but I feel that the trainer is WAY different from using the real thing.
I think the most helpful thing we ever did (of course this was AFTER the Catskills fiasco), was to practice with an expired epi on an orange. Now, I feel much more confident that I would know how to administer it.
Mary Beth

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2004 - 1:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mary Beth, I do agree it is very different using the trainer, vs using a real epi-pen. But at the cost, I would use a trainer until I had an expired epi.
And also, the trainer is re-usable, so that everyone can actually try it.

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2004 - 3:33am
pennykandy's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2004 - 09:00

When DD had a reaction years ago, DH went to give her the epi and accidentally shot himself in the finger. Thank god we had a second one and he was able to giver her that one.
Also, Chloe had 2 episodes this winter where we gave her the epi at home and she worsened after that and was given more at the hospital. Our Allergist said if that ever happened again we could give her a second shot.
So I would say it is definately worth having 2 pens. We always carry 2 pens and 1 dose of benadryl.

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