first time using epi-pen

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Three days ago we had to use my son's epi for the first time. (He has Peanut, treenut, seafood ,pea and mustard food allergies) He went over to a friends and was holding their small puppy. He was moderately allergic to dogs, so we thought. We gave our dog away 5 years ago when we found out about his allergy. When we go somewhere with a dog we keep him away from it and if he does pet it we wash his hands right away. But he has been around them all his life,(at his grandparents, at his aunts house..) and usually just got some hives and at most requires benadryl. He NEVER had a reaction like this one..it really caught us off guard.(He SWORE he did not eat ANYTHING while he was there. He is not allowed to have snacks at anyones house without asking...) By the time I walked him home..his eyes were swollen shut and he had HUNDREDS of welts on his face and neck and arms.His face was soo swollen. His nose was swollen and he started to cough. Thats when we injected him. I was always afriad of having to use the epi. We did keep hesitating..but when we gave it to him within 10 seconds his face returned to normal again. It was AMAZING. We had already called 911, and by the time the paramedics got here...he was doing great. I just wanted to let you know that now I have a tiny bit less fear in me. I pray that we will never have to use it again...but I am soooo thankful of how FANTASTIC it worked! I will not hesitate next time to use it. Thank God I was close to home and close to the epi. It re-reminded us that we need to have it with us AT ALL TIMES. Please remember to keep it with you... you never know when something will catch you off guard.

On May 26, 2001

I have also used the epipen once and had a similar feeling afterwards. I guess I felt empowered that I had the ability to control the situation for once! My son was also amazed at how little pain there was when he was injected. Even though I would wish that experience on him again, what we learned was invaluable. Good for you for having the courage to use it.

On May 26, 2001

Hi Gabrielle: sorry to hear about your experience and am glad everything was alright. Just as an FYI, I learned on this board that a lot of dog food/treats use peanuts or nut products as fillers. Something to be aware of, if your child is around animals. Take care!

On May 26, 2001

Thank you for posting this. I, for one, feel better after reading it having never used our epi-pen.

On May 30, 2001

important post to bring up top!

On May 6, 2002

I have often wondered how well the Epi-oen would work. I found this post very encouraging and wanted to raise it to the top.

On May 6, 2002

Lisa V,

Thanks for raising this. I'd never read it. I would also be curious if the puppy had eaten food/treats containing peanut. I have never used the epipen and can relate to those fears. I haven't even opened the box it came in! Probably should, huh? We do practice with the trainers though. I am amazed that PattyR's son said there was little pain with it. Amazing!

On May 6, 2002

Lisa V

Thanks for making my day. I hope to never have to use my epi., but I feel a little better carrying it around now. I don't think I would have ever delayed using it, but I feel a little safer knowing it actually worked...

On May 6, 2002

I recommend practicing with the real Epipens when they expire by injecting it into an orange. It is very helpful. It shows you what it is really like. You can see how the needle sticks out after. Also, the click on the real Epipen is louder than on the trainer.

On May 7, 2002

I never tried a trainer, but my doctor made the suggestion of testing an expired epi in an orange. I don't know if I *punched* it to hard or what, but juice came squirting everywhere. Biggest puddle landed in the butter. (Wouldn't that make an interesting sandwich?) I have now learned -- don't use epi-pen near the butter ;-O

On May 7, 2002

By the way, how long is the actual needle in the epi-pen, jr? Do you need a good size orange? And then how do you dispose of the epi-pen?

On May 7, 2002

I took my expired epi to a pharmacy for disposal. They took it with no problem. I've heard the orange suggestion many times, but I thought I'd share what a Dey Pharmaceutical rep did at a food allergy support group meeting. She injected it through the side of a cardboard box. That way we could see the needle pop out and see the medicine squirt into the box. It helped people see how quick it really is; some were wondering since the directions say to hold it in place for several seconds.

On May 8, 2002

Lauren Cover, I'm glad you mentioned the cardboard box idea, I would do that. I have about 6 on top of my fridge that are expired and we did (rather my dh tried)one on a orange when we first found out about my ds allergy. I'm a little afraid of doing it on an orange unless it's in a vice-grip of sorts since I would probably miss and fire the darn thing in my body by accident [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

A big cardboard box with some plastic bags, I couldn't miss. Thanks for the suggestion.

On May 8, 2002

Just thought I would mention, that the reason oranges are used are because they have about the same "give" as the skin would, so you know how much pressure is actually needed for the needle to pop.

We just had 2 expire, and both my boys (only the youngest is PA) got to inject an orange. The non-PA kid got his needle to come out first go, but the PA kid, thinking this could be his leg one day, didn't apply enough pressure and we thought maybe it was faulty, but I got him to try again and hold it a little firmer to the orange and out the needle popped right away. Then he walked around saying how his leg had "phantom pains", but I think it was a good lesson for all of us to see just how much pressure is really needed.

Just something you might want to think about! Maybe you could alternate, some into the box, some into the orange, so you can "see" it happen into the box but get the feel with the orange.

On May 8, 2002

Gabrielle, I am glad that the epipen worked so well for your son! Did you inject the pen right through his pants? Did your son cry, or get a bruise? All these scary thoughts haunt me every day. I have never used the epipen before (knock on wood) and that is my biggest fear! When I read your post I was almost in tears from the anxiety of having to do this some day for my son too. We have practiced on oranges many times with my expired epipens.

[This message has been edited by Sandy (edited May 10, 2002).]

On May 8, 2002

Torontosue: I do plan on using the oranges from now on, because of the similarity to skin. It was just nice to actually see the needle pop out. But now that I've seen it, it's not something I need to do over. I did it once when training the child care workers at my church. They have a trainer, but I thought it would be nice for them to see one actually discharged too. I'll probably take them some oranges and epis when they expire, too, so they can try it with the real thing. Amanda is with them several mornings a week, and they have been great about learning what they need to know to protect her.

[This message has been edited by Lauren Cover (edited May 08, 2002).]

On May 10, 2002

Another tip from my best friend (and Ian's godmother--oh, the irony!) who is anaphylactic to latex:

In addition to using the orange to simulate the sensation of injecting into the skin, put a sock or sleeve over the orange first. This can serve as a reminder that the EpiPen is designed to be used through clothing. Don't waste precious time trying to undress your child just to inject the Epi!

Nancy

On May 11, 2002

I knew the epi is designed to use through clothing, but when I asked dr. he didn't know about denim. Anybody know if the pen would go through denim jeans?

On May 11, 2002

A rep from Dey(company that makes epis) said the autoinjector technology came from the military, where they developed it for use with antidote medicines for stuff like chemical warfare (or something like that, I don't remember exactly). Anyway, it was designed to work through heavy military fatigues, so denim is fine. You want to avoid the seams and pockets, though, to make it easier. She said there have been cases of people hitting things in their pocket and the needle not entering the skin.

On May 16, 2002

Sandy, No, we did not inject it through his pants, we pulled them down. Yes, he did yell, the whole ten seconds we held it in. but he stopped immediately when my husband took it out. It was not so bad...like a normal shot that he might get at the doctors and yowl about. It was INSTANT in releaving the swelling. I am no longer "afraid" to use it.

On May 16, 2002

Hi,

Our son who is now 14, administered his own epi last year for the first time. He said that he was scared but he knew that the people that he was with might not administer it correctly. So, he had to do it himself. He said, I saved my own life mom! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Since that time he has felt so much more empowered about his allergy. It's like he grew up over night. Now he is not afraid to speak about his allergy and ask for safety around himself. Yeh, I'm proud of him!

------------------ Brenda

On Jun 7, 2002

Hi All,

I justed wanted to share with you that I picked up my son's new Epi Pens from the pharmacy tonight and if you have a script for 2 pens, they now come two to a pack with a free Trainer in the box with them.

I didn't know if any of you had seen this new packaging yet.

(I tried to do a search for this but I got an error message so the search didn't work. Sorry if this has already been mentioned in another thread). [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ Stay Safe.

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited June 07, 2002).]

On Jun 8, 2002

That is neat that the pens came with a trainer what pharmacy did u go to?

thanks Leah

On Jun 8, 2002

I agree, once you use the epi, you are no longer "afraid" to use it!

On Jun 16, 2002

Hi Leah,

I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner...I posted the night before we left on a trip for Boston and we just got back from vacation today.

We use Walgreens Pharmacy.

It was very handy having the Trainer with us on our vacation so we could show the grandparents how to use the Epi. It's nice being able to have a *visual* when showing people what to do.

------------------ Stay Safe.

On Jun 16, 2002

I think now I understand why ours did not have a trainer--was just one epipen. I thought maybe it was because we got sent to a different pharmacy. The CVS I had the RX called in to was out of epipens. (This was our first one we ever had so didn't realize you could get a trainer with it.) I did watch the little video on the epipen site and so did my son.

On Jun 16, 2002

Hi everyone,

I too have injected epi into daughter (seafood). She is eleven and deathly afraid of needles...when she felt her throat closing she called for the epi and welcomed it! Afterwords she said that the injection didn't hurt. The spot was a little tender the next day. It worked immediately!

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