Epi-Pen malfunctions and how many pens does everyone carry.....


My husband and I have an Epi-Pen at our 2 1/2 year old DD's mother's day out school program. We have recently been talking about what if the teacher or person adminsterting it accidentally shoots themselves and our daughter doesn't get the dosage. Does everyone carry a back-up pen for each pen? We are going to give two pens to the school so we feel more comfortable.

Also, has anyone every had or heard of an Epi-Pen malfunctioning? I was told in the Epi-Pen, Jr.'s it is literally one drop of epinephrine - what if it dried up or didn't come out??? Guess that is another reason for the back up...any thoughts or comments?

I was told by our allergist to place firmly on the top middle part of our DD's lef, yet everything you read says the outside of the thigh? Does it matter? Our pediatrician said anywhere within a giant square which covers the front and side is effective. What are your thoughts?

Lastly, has anyone had a child move and miss or had the needle come out?

I guess we have pre Epi-Pen jitters...


------------------ Kym Mom of 2 1/2 year old daughter with peanut and egg allergies

On Jul 13, 2005

There is a big nerve that runs down the front of the thigh, you would want to miss that so it is recommended to inject the side of the thigh like the epi direction says.

My son is 20 and carries two epi pens at all times. He has about 4 in his room at college and we have 4 at home.

If the person administering the epi is doing it right they will not shoot themselves. Teach them slowly and calmly.

Good luck


On Jul 13, 2005

We always have at least 2 Epi Pens for DS. Not only for an error or malfunction, but in case one isn't enough. If the reaction is severe it could continue to progress and require another shot.

An epi only buys you about 20 minutes (sometimes less) to get medical attention so our rule of thumb is 1 pen for every 15 minutes from a hospital - if DS were to go somewhere where we thought it might take an hour to get to a hopsital, then we would have 4 epi pens. Often one shot is enough to halt a reaction but not necessarily.

At DS's school, the nurse has an Epi for him, his teacher has one, and he has one with him.


On Jul 13, 2005

Thank you for your response and yes, I did train them slowly and calmly, but they are kind of freaked out and may panic if the situation was to arise. I guess better to be safe than sorry. No doctor ever mentioned the giant nerve? Guess we will do the outside of the thigh - any better place than another?

On Jul 13, 2005

Thank you Rebekaha. Do dr's or ins. co.'s have any problems giving Rx for that many? Our's did a Rx for 3, but the first pack came with 2 pens and a trainer so I can have 4 total. 2 at school, 1 at home and 1 in my purse. Should I get more?

On Jul 13, 2005

We have 2 epis at DS's school and 2 at home. When we travel, we take all 4. The epi instructions say to insert in the outside of the thigh and also show the general area. Be sure to hold for 10 seconds.

On Jul 13, 2005

Thank you Suzy. I went ahead and filled her 4th and will keep 2 at school and 2 at home.

On Jul 13, 2005

I know that something was posted recently about this, but I can not find it. We left my son's epipens in the car for three hours today 9-12 and am concerned if they are damaged from it. It was very hot today (98 degrees) and I am sure much hotter in the car. We have two more epipens, that I keep in the house, so we still have some that I know are ok. I am just trying to decide what to do as I just got new ones because I was worryed the old ones had be gotten to hot on vacation. I am having a heck of a time keeping them cool, but not too cold. The new ones that I just got have a warning 'do not refrigerate'.

Anyway to answer the original ? We keep two epis with us at all times and four when we travel. We do have a run around with the drug store everytime we get them filed because it is for two two packs and they always want to just give me one.

When he starts school next month I am sure we will need more.

On Jul 14, 2005

Answering my own question....we went to the allergist today and he said that the epipens were probably damaged from being in the car and to get new ones. He also recommended that I get a thermos to keep the epipens in, does not get too hot or cold.

On Jul 14, 2005

That's a great idea. Just a thermos, no cooling it first or anything? I keep my DD's in my pocketbook which is always on my body. If we go to the pool, I bring an ice pack in an insulated pouch and then put my pocketbook over it.

On Jul 17, 2005

I carry at least 2.

1 in car, one in my room, 2 in kitchen, 1 i think is in a cubard , whole cubard at school....i think thats it...

On Jul 17, 2005

I carry one in my purse and keep one in the medicine cabinet. We'll get 2 to keep in the nurse's office at school this fall. I just asked the allergist about always carrying 2, because I've read that sometimes only one Jr. doesn't work well enough on a 45 lb. kid. But he said one is fine because you're just buying time to get to the ER anyway. So he didn't give me a prescription for more so that I could carry 2. I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable, but he didn't think I should worry about it. But I could always grab the 2nd one from the medicine cabinet when I go somewhere if I really want to (and I did on a long trip). I'm just afraid I'll go somewhere without her sometime and forget to leave it with her so that her dad could give it to her.

On Jul 26, 2005

We try to get several Rx for Epis throughout the year. We keep 2 in the nurse's office at school, 2 with DS at school in a pack that travels with him everywhere, 2 in my purse, 1 in the bag that goes with us to the Y on our bikes, 2 at church, 1 in DH's desk at work. All of these are in Eagle Creek bags with a clip on them, and all contain Benadryl and our Allergy Action Plan, which has Epi directions printed on the back.

We may have a little overkill, but I wouldn't change a thing. We get 2 Epis for $25, and as long as I space them throughout the year, it's affordable enough.

On Aug 6, 2005

Hi, (new here & soooo glad to find this forum!) I began to wonder about the temp restrictions on the label of the epi & what hikers(possibly allergic to bees?) do with their pens & the temp restrictions. So I called our pharmacist who told me that if the thing "changed color" not use it.

Well, of course having heard that epis are not fool proof began to question how many of those failures might have been due to a failed dose because of heat or cold damage. My husband surely ruined one leaving it out in freezing weather in the glove box. *that one has been tossed*

So, this summer I decided to do an experiment, realizing now I've fried(or at best compromised) our epi pens for our daughter, *EVERY SUMMER* in my purse while out & about outdoors.

I began this summer inserting a quick reading -thin- (acu-rite brand) *meat thermometer* into the folds of the box to measure heat exposure. Once this summer whilst watching my daughter during swim lessons my purse with the sun hitting it reached 100F!!!

I've had to resort to carrying an insulated lunch pack with ice within on days approaching 84(hotter in the car even in Michigan). I was wondering about the thermos technique tho & will try to see if it retains temperatures as well as my method. It just sickens me to think we may have gone for better parts of a year with fried pens. We keep one at the inlaws & I shudder to think what happens to the ones kept there when they choose to turn the air off on an 80-ish degree day, when it seems cooler outdoors than in the house. I am certain she ruined one on a cooler day when I suggested the cooling pack.