Have you/your child used the epi-pen and . . .


When your child or yourself has had a reaction, have you given the epi-pen? What was the determining factor that led to this decision? There seems to be such a varying degree of severity of symptoms. Was it APPARENT that this was the necessary course-of-action, or did you really have to make a decision?

Thank you, Andrea

On Dec 19, 2002

We have used the epi one time for anaphylaxis - not peanut related. It was very clear that he needed it - he had hives that WOULD NOT go away with Benadryl (even after 24 hours) and then the coughing started... he could hardly talk between coughs. THAT's when we gave it to him and went to the ER - after another body system got involved.

On Dec 19, 2002

I've given the epi-pen twice. The first time after we drove to the hospital and the doctor told me I should have done it right away (my son was wheezing and had hives). He had me administer it while he and a nurse walked me through it. He said it would make me more comfortable the next time I had to do it. I told him I was hoping their wouldn't be a next time. He guaranteed me their would be. The second reaction was so much faster and so much worse I didn't even think about it I just did it.

We have been having our son practice so he can inject himself next time, I told him it would be better if he did it himself instead of trying to convince someone else he needed it. He is 8 years old and is comfortable with this plan, under real circumstances it may not go so smoothly, so I have trained everyone that spends any time with him.

------------------ Cynde Punch

On Dec 23, 2002

I`ve used it once. It didn`t take me long to decide. She had hives (only a few), swelling around her eyes, and wheezing, but no trouble breathing. I found it easier to decide to do it than to think about it. I was more afraid of her dying if I didn`t use it than I was afraid of using it. In fact, I wasn`t afraid of using it at all. All I could think was that if I didn`t she might die. Everything happened really quickly; all three of those symptoms showed up within about five or ten minutes of eating egg for the first time (three days after a negative skin test to egg). I didn`t have much time to think about it; everything happened so fast. Our allergist told me after that I did the right thing by using it.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited December 24, 2002).]

On Dec 31, 2002

We have used the epi-pen four times in the last 5 years. We never questioned it once. If Paul felt he was reacting we used the pen and went to the hospital. We'll be calling 911 from now on but the decision will be the same. No hesitation, use the epi pen and ask questions later.

Our problem is being too hesitant to call 911. We hop in the car and drive to the ER ourselves and that is a big mistake we will not make again.


On Dec 31, 2002

ACBaay, this is an interesting question, simply because I had to re-look at my own stance/comfort zone within the last couple of weeks when Jesse had an anaphylactic reaction at school.

The first time he had an anaphylactic reaction, his symptoms were quite wide ranged and I was prepared to administer the Epi-pen. We lived next door to the medical center and I called there and they told me to bring him over, which I did. They administered the Epi-pen there.

The second time, this was our botched job, where we almost lost Jesse due to our not being informed and denial on one parent's part. We FINALLY administered the Epi-pen and didn't know to call 911 or to get him to the hospital right away. We didn't even have a second Epi-pen to administer and we were quite a way from the hospital. At any rate, finally got him to the hospital where he was administered another Epi-pen. I almost lost my son (I know everyone knows this story, but for the one person that may not I will keep posting it just so you never make the same mistakes and almost have your child die before your eyes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).

Now, with his last reaction, just two weeks ago at school. My instructions to the school, and the ones I believe they should have followed, which they didn't, was to administer the Epi-pen. However, they didn't even know that he was having a reaction.

I live right across from the school and the principal had walked him into the parking lot. I took one look at him and knew what was wrong. He had three symptoms of anaphylaxis and in all of our heads that says, yes, immediately, Epi-pen.

I got in the door with him and his Father was going to administer the Epi-pen straight away. However, because I also live right across from the hospital and the symptoms were not as bad or progressing as quickly as they had the previous time, three years ago, I chose to go to the hospital instead. When we were finally seen by the doctor (posted ad nauseum here about that whole experience [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) he was given Benadryl, not the Epi-pen. I did have my Epi-pen out the whole time we were waiting for the doctor.

It is a curious thing, but I trusted my gut. I'm not clear why. I didn't want to subject him to an Epi-pen which, as it turns out, he clearly didn't need. Benadryl stopped the reaction. I'm not sure why. It definitely was anaphylactic. This is what I find all so puzzling. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Yet, I would have wanted the school to administer the Epi-pen. It's a difficult position to explain. It has been even more interesting for us this past year because we have always been of the Epi-pen only school of thought (no Benadryl in the house at all) and yet Jesse has had two reactions this year (the one anaphylactic one I just mentioned) whereby Benadryl was needed.

I have really found with PA, and other people may or may not be like this, and it's not something that I recommend (I really believe you have to have an emergency plan set out in your head, just like you're supposed to have your fire drill set out for the family home), but I can somehow trust my gut on this. Just as I instinctively knew that Jesse was having a PA reaction the first time he had one and yet I knew nothing about PA, there are no food allergies in the family, etc. I simply knew.

If you look at the thread I started after Jesse's reaction under Living with PA, which I believe you kindly posted in as well, you'll find that there is another parent that has the same instructions with the school as I do and yet the way she deals with her child would be similar to how I dealt with Jesse's last reaction.

I've found this year terribly puzzling re PA, terribly stressful and extremely overwhelming. Maybe it's because for the first year in a few we haven't been reaction free and the two reactions this year I wasn't able to pinpoint exactly.

Hope this rambling helped in some way. You can tell what I'm doing New Year's Eve (and no, I'm not drinking, I actually don't drink at all, but that's another long story that you would only know if you read between the lines of my posts very very carefully [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] LOL! )

Happy New Year! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]