Epi-Pen Practice with an expired pen

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 12:57am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

pWe had an expired epi-pen here and since I had never used a loaded pen I decided to try it on an orange the other night to get an idea of what if feels/sounds like when properly injected./p
pI have to tell you guys that I did this to ease my nerves a ltttle and to give myself some confidence on using the pen. Well, now I fell quite a bit more nervous about the whole thing. I was amazed at how powerful the mechanism is and even more amazed at the size and length of the needle. All I can think about is how much it would hurt my little guy even tho I know it would save his life. Given the size of the needle, I now worry about damaging him somehow. That being said I will not hesitate to use it. I guess as the saying goes, better the evil you know. Anyone else feel this way?/p
pAnd one more thing, how are we supposed to discard the used pens? Would they not be considered biological waste? Our pens, and I suspect most, came in a hard plastic cilinder. Are we supposed to put the used pens back in the cillinder and discard them that way?/p
pKatiee (Wade's mom)/p

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 1:40am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

I was also alarmed at the length of the needle when I used an expired one for practice. I thought the same thing you did about hurting my son. Not too long ago I did need to give my son the epipen. He was terrified, as you can imagine, but he was very surprised at how little it hurt. He didn't like it staying in his leg for ten seconds but we were both very relieved in the end. I will feel much more confident next time. My son is 8 but very small for his age and the needle didn't do any damage. It stopped his reaction in its tracks.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 3:59am
AmyR's picture
Joined: 09/26/2000 - 09:00

I have had two expired epi pens for at least six weeks and seem to be too nervous to even try them on an orange. I bought an orange some time ago but procrastinated so long that someone ate it. I actually bought another one on Saturday and need to get the courage to practice on it. I'm glad you started this thread. Now I'll have to do it so I can report back.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 5:58am
jh5000's picture
Joined: 03/02/2000 - 09:00

katiee -
A rep from Dey - the manufacturers of Epi-Pen - told our local support group that after using one in a real emergency situation, you should put a penny in the bottom of the plastic tube and take it with you to the e.r., as you should head there after you administer it anyway.
The subject of what to do with the spent Epi-pen when you are just "practicing" came up on another thread - "Epi Pens Nearing Expiry", I believe, started by Cindy Spowart Cook. You might want to do a search for that one.
I'm going to be practicing with our expired ones probably in the next week or so...and I'm still not sure of how I'll be disposing of them.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 6:30am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

After we used the epipen, I bent the needle back and threw it in the trash. I guess that may not have been the right thing to do. What do diabetics do with the needles that they use everyday? Anyone know?

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 7:22am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My PA son is also diabetic. We take the used needles and put them in an empty laundry detergent bottle & then duck tape the cap to the bottle & leave it out for the garbage man. We don't put the bottle in a plastic bag & obviously do not throw it in the recycle bin either.

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2001 - 11:33pm
Head Cook's picture
Joined: 11/19/2000 - 09:00

After practicing on oranges for 10 years I still get nervous, and thats why I carry 2. I think I might hesitate and have that thing fire into my own thigh or something!!
Head Cook

Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2001 - 12:59pm
rilira's picture
Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

You are not supposed to put used needles in the regular trash. It is considered medical waste. Take the ones you practice with to the nearest ER and they should dispose of it for you. If you use needles all the time, check with your pharmacy about getting a sharps disposable container. When I had to inject daily blood thinners, the pharmacy which supplied the medication also gave me a sharps container and a special box to mail it away in when I was done with it (or full whichever came first).

Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2001 - 2:43am
SLICE's picture
Joined: 07/20/2000 - 09:00

FYI, folks, if you're practicing with a live pen, be sure not to stick your fingers with it - I was told at the hospital that injecting epinephrine into a finger could permanently injure it. Be careful out there! slice

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