Use for expired Epi-pens

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 1:07am
mpeters's picture
Joined: 10/28/2001 - 09:00

I am imagining that most of you, like me, have a collection of expired Epi-pens or Twinjects. I was recently asked by the head nurse for our school district if she could have them for training purposes. I am keeping a few for my own practice and training purposes, but I am happy to find a use for the others. It seems that the more they have, the more teachers, nurses, and health aids will get to practice. I am thrilled that they are willing to do this.

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 1:16am
Resa's picture
Joined: 12/15/2007 - 15:53

I had never thought of this, either, until the head nurse in our school district asked the same thing of me. She said they give those using it a more realistic idea of how the epipen works vs the trainer that comes with the epipen, which is empty. I was more than happy to share-it kills two birds with one stone; you get rid of the old epipens and it enables others to be trained on usage.

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 5:03am
Krusty Krab's picture
Joined: 04/20/2007 - 09:00

I would [i]never[/i] give prescribed medication to someone else. I don't care if it is a nurse. She of all people can figure out the best tools for teaching epi use. But I'm fairly certain that giving injectible medication, even expired, to [b]anyone[/b] else, is [i]illegal[/i]. It is intended for the patient only.
I would not want to be responsible for any misuse. That is a potent medication with notable side effects. The company makes a safe trainer available...[i]for training purposes[/i].
Call your state or local officials for dates for collecting old or unused medications. Or simply [i]train[/i] with those meds, every time you have one that expires. I see them as a wonderful tool for OUR family.
Sorry to disagree.

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 5:27am
KaraLH's picture
Joined: 10/11/2006 - 09:00

I have only had 4 expired epi's so far. Two of them my husband and I used at home (in an orange of course) and the other two went to my daughter's threeschool teacher and assistant. I was there when they practiced but I do not think this illegal. I may be incorrect in that, but the medication was not injected into anyone else. I definetly see these as an important training tool, but I can find plenty of people that come in contact with my daughter that I would want them to have first dibs at the expired epi's, rather than giving them away to "outsiders." (But I don't have a collection of them either.)
We also have trainers, but as wonderful as they are to have, in my opinion, I find it quite different than the feel of the real epi-pen. These have worked great for presentation purposes to pass around and get the feel of, but I was so glad to be able to provide the expired epi's for the teacher and assistant who would probably be the ones to use it at school. Next year I hope to be able to provide her preschool teacher and assistant with expired epi's to practice with.

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 7:23am
Krusty Krab's picture
Joined: 04/20/2007 - 09:00

It's not about whether or not they [i]inject[/i] the medication. It is all about [i]possession[/i]. In most states, it is illegal to simply possess prescribed drugs and not be the person for whom the prescription was written.
The offense of giving someone else a prescribed medication that is yours (your child's) can be called various NY, I [i]think[/i] it's called 'criminal diversion of prescription medication'. But hey, don't take my word for it, google any state and I'm sure you'll find the laws against it.
Why take the liablity, let them use the [i]trainer[/i], it's what it was made for. And at least with the trainer, you can actually practice the entire technique, from symptom recognition to 'giving' the epi (trainer) in the outer thigh.

Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2008 - 10:11am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Since the nurse has permission to use these devices per the doctor's orders there would be no criminal activity.
I've demonstrated with the expired epis using an open cardboard box - everyone was fasciated to see the medicine shoot across the inside of the box and see the needle come through.

Posted on: Mon, 02/18/2008 - 12:42am
Spoedig's picture
Joined: 09/17/2004 - 09:00

I would not do this. My concern would be LIABILITY if there was any accidental injection (SINCE epi's should never be injected in hands). It is not worth the risk -- and I too am surprised a nurse would agree to this.

Posted on: Mon, 02/18/2008 - 9:07pm
Worththewait's picture
Joined: 11/25/2007 - 11:39

How can there be liability?
You have to leave a fully functioning, up to date epi in their hands to begin with in order to potentially save your childs life don't you? They could accidently inject themselves with that one at any time. The fact that they accept responsibility to inject your daughter in case of exposure would release you from any liability. I think practicing with older ones a great idea

Posted on: Tue, 02/19/2008 - 1:45am
kandebuttahfly's picture
Joined: 12/27/2007 - 17:08

krusty is right - it is ILLEGAL to SELL, GIVE or TRANSFER possession of ANY prescription - it is a FEDEREAL OFFENSE! and you can be put in a FEDERAL prision as a result. it doesnt matter if the medicine is injectible, liquid, pill, etc., it is still illegal. even if its just an advil 600mg that you give someone so they dont have to take 3 otc pills, its still illegal. i work at a law firm and if anyone wants to know, id be happy to look up the consequences of "sharing" epis.
i am horrified that people would even consider this, and should probably be reported for it! i agree that for the sake of argument, it is best for people to get the feel of a real epi - but are you kidding?!?!?!
on top of it being illegal to do this, were something to happen and someone was accidentally injected or WORSE, *YOU* could be held criminally and civilly liable for these actions! i will take an example to a *VERY* extreme and highly unlikely outcome, but lets just say for example the nurse stockpiled epis and then administered multiple ones to someone, causing an epinephrine overdose and kills someone. since you supplied some/all of the "murder" weapon, you could be criminally found an accomplice, and civilly you could lose everything from the lawsuit that would obviously arise.
this is the worst idea anyone could have. i agree the trainers dont give you the actual feel, but its close enough that there is absolutley NO reason to share these with others!!!!!

Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2008 - 2:41am
Resa's picture
Joined: 12/15/2007 - 15:53

Ok,this is something I am no longer even considering doing. I had not given the epipens to the nurse yet. Will definitely not do so now.
I called my pharmacy and asked them what to do with the expired epipens. If anyone has used epis they want to get rid of I recommend they do the same. I don't feel like these are safe to stockpile and leave in my house, either.
JMO, I do wish they had trainers available that had something like sterile water in it so people could get a feel. Even if they were made available for situations like for school personnel to learn under the supervision of a nurse. I know healthcare professionals learn to give injections by injecting syringes filled with sterile saline into an orange. There is a real difference.
I am thankful that there is even a question of how to get rid of unused expired epipens because it means they did not need to be used!

Posted on: Wed, 02/20/2008 - 3:07am
KaraLH's picture
Joined: 10/11/2006 - 09:00

I agree with everything Resa said. Can't think of anything else I need to say!
Thankyou to the above posters for your insight on the legality issues of this. I had never given that a thought although with my other meds I have. For some reason Epipens just "seem" different. (Poor excuse I know)
I too wish for a better way to train people. As always, it is my childs best interest I think about.



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