Used Epi-pen!


Hi everyone, I can't beleive I have to post this but here goes.

Wed. at 5pm my 4 yr son had a tiny bite of a mini snicker bar (details later of how he got it). He immediately came to my husband screaming that his mouth hurt. My dh thought he was saying that his brother hit him (which never happens). I pulled up in the driveway and my dh said come in here I think he has something wrong with him.

I immediately saw the tiny bits of peanut on his tongue! His mouth was red and swelling, not sure if his throat was swelling, but big welts on the inside of his mouth, and drooling. No hives yet. I said we have to give him the epi-pen. I pulled one from my purse as my dh was reaching for the ones we keep above the kitchen sink. Our son was still hysterical, looking at us like he had acid burning in his mouth. I opened the box took out the pen , removed the cap and firmly held it to his leg. I think I even pushed it against his leg initially, then I calmly counted to ten and removed the needle, which was longer than I thought it would be. I had never used a trainer, but I watched my father practice on an orange, with an expired adult epi, he has a bee sting allergy. Also, I had read the directions for the pen about a year before when we first got one, I knew it was simple, and I thought if I ever had to give it I would easily be able to read the quick directions again. I remembered to put it in the outer 1/3 of his upper thigh, and hold it for 10 sec's. I didn't massage the area after.

Next we drove to the ER, a mile away. Our son was much better of course after the epi. He still was crying about his mouth in the car and seemed lethargic, I thought after the epi, he would be very alert. That concerned me. They got him in right away, but nobody took his blood pressure. Which I am not a dr. and I plan on asking my allergy dr., but I was a little worried because he looked pretty good they may miss something. I asked the dr. what his blood pressure was and he said, "I can tell he is not in shock". They took it a little later, he was ok. On the same hand I did feel like he was safe.

They gave him oral steriods, and we took a wet washcloth and wiped out his mouth and tongue. There was still two pieces of peanut in there, 15 minutes later! We didn't have time but I wished we had used a toothbrush at home. He did very well, we went home 3 hrs later, watched him closely gave him benadryl and steriods for next 2 days.

This is long. Quick note on how he got the deadly candybar. My 6 yo son was invited to a bday party a week earlier when we were on vacation. We had dropped a present off for the friend two weeks ago. On wed. the child had my 6yo over for a play date. I picked my son up at the end of the play date and saw a brown lunch bag in his hand. I didn't even think that it was a party bag left over from the bday party a week before. It looked like the kids had just played with it and made the bag that day. I feel the worst guilt over this, not checking that bag. I dropped off my 6yo with my husband and 4yo, and drove my dd's friend home. Back at home: the bag made it to our porch where the contents were emptied and my 6yo unwrapped 3 tiny candy bars. Neither of my son's even know what different candies have peanuts in them or not. I can't believe my 4 yo took a bite, but he did. My 6 yo in a later conversation told us that his brother said, "this doesn't have peanuts in it", and took the bite.

I know we have to tighten our comfort zone and wished it didn't take this to do so. I am especially fearful of anyone else being able to give an epi to my son in the future. I didn't even question if we needed to give it or not, but I know it is because I have read so much on this board and have had two conversations with the allergy dr. (one just the morning before this happened) on when and if to give the epi. I am still in a state of shock, not even knowing how to move forward. I know this is long, I couldn't even come to this board until now. Take care and stay safe!


On Aug 9, 2002

Jill, so glad that your son is alright. How frightening for your whole family. It sounds like you were able to stay calm administering the epi-pen. Good for you. Hope you never have to again! Curious about the emotional state of the rest of your family after witnessing this. I know you're still in shock. How is your older son and husband? Again, glad he is O.K.!

On Aug 9, 2002

My older son was very terrified. We just ran off to the hospital and left him home with my 14 yr old daughter. We called them about 10 minutes after we arrived at the hospital to reassure them that Brady was just fine.

We have been careful when questioning him about the whole incident to let him know he was not at fault, although I think he feels bad, because he knows how we are careful about everything the kids eat. As times passes we will drill home the rules on how to keep everyone safe. My husband is fine, we haven't had much time to discuss our future plans on how to tell any family, friends who may take care of our kids, (if they ever leave our sight again that is)! Thanks for asking.

On Aug 9, 2002

Thank goodness he is okay. What a scary thing. It really changes everyone involved in ways you don't even realize. We do have a small comfort zone. no one in our home is allowed to eat anything that our DS cannot have, even our 6 year old and she is fine with that. We overcompensate by cooking up a storm (in free time that i just don't have!!) and have lots of baked goods around. Nothing is allowed into our home that our DS cannot have. Our 6 year old knows that anything that comes from outside our home is not to go anywhere near her little brother. She watches him like a hawk and when they are in public and our DS sees someone else eating any type of food, he goes over and stares at it and his sister comes over and 'shields' him from it. Our comfort zone is small. Just sharing our ways of coping. Our little guy knows that he does not put anything in his mouth that is not from mommy or daddy ever. He is fine with that. He will be 4 in a few weeks. He remembers his anaphylactic reaction one year ago and thank God he has not had a reaction in 13 months. I don't know if I could go through that again.....

On Aug 10, 2002

I just wanted to add that my son was having trouble swallowing. He was drooling alot. I think before I came to these boards and learned more about anaphylaxis I thought the main symptoms were hives, swelling, and breathing difficulty. Also an er dr. told me 9 yrs ago after my dd had a reaction to tree nuts that she didn't have a true anaphylactic reaction because the swelling was localized to her face! He said they do the torso test: if hives don't cover the torso it is not 'systemic' therefore not true anaphylaxis. Her eyes were swollen shut and complained of breathing difficulties, and had hives. They gave her a shot of steroids,(probably epinephrine). I was so uninformed, on a follow-up visit with her ped. they just told us to avoid, no mention of epi etc... We just had her to the allergist last Feb, 9 yrs later! Who gave us all the correct info.

Thanks for the responses, stay safe.


[This message has been edited by JSaastad (edited August 10, 2002).]