Inject Epi-pen - Hold to the count of 15 - Did You Know?

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 4:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pThis was just brought to my attention by another PA parent and I'm hoping that by posting it other people that don't already know this will know it and not feel like BAD MOMMY, which I very much do right now./p
pDid you know that when you inject the Epi-pen that you are supposed to hold it to the count of 15?/p
pI didn't. I'm not clear if it is written on the instruction sheet that comes with the Epi-pen. I will check and post later whether it is clearly explained with the instructions or not./p
pAt any rate, I did NOT know this, and once again, feel like a complete idiot when it comes to dealing with PA. I am SO thankful to the PA parent who did tell me and am quite willing to share this despite the embarrassment, guilt, etc. that I am currently feeling./p
pSo, if you don't know already, when you inject the Epi-pen, hold it to the count of 15./p
pBest wishes! [img][/img]/p

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 5:29am
Mir's picture
Joined: 02/12/2001 - 09:00

Okay, I had to go take out our EpiPen Jr.s and look at them after this post. The nurse at the allergist's office told me to hold until the count of 10. (Whether or not that will actually be possible with a 1-year-old is debatable in my opinion!)
The pen itself says (as step #3): "Using a quick motion, press hard until injector functions. Hold in place for several seconds." The insert inside the box says the same, except that it adds also "The EpiPen Jr unit should then be removed and discarded. Massage the injection area for 10 seconds."
I don't think you're a bad mommy--I think that's sort of confusing. The instructions ON the pen and IN THE BOX don't even match! And BOTH are different than what our prescribing doctor told us! Is it any wonder we need this board...?
Miriam (who hopes that if the time comes to use the blasted thing, I can just manage to stay calm and get it done without stabbing it into myself or passersby!)
[This message has been edited by Mir (edited March 06, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 6:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cindy-Our allergist said to hold to the count of 10 also but never mentioned massaging the area. That is probably a good idea but as the person above said....I will be lucky to even get it in my son!!! He throws such fits and kicks and hits when you even try to look in his ears.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 6:15am
DMB's picture
Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

I was told 10 seconds by our allergist. Also, I just printed out a new emergency form from FAAN for my son since he just started a new preschool. It's now 2 pages and on the second page is has a photo illustration of how to administer the epi. It also says to hold the pen in place for 10 seconds and then massage the area for 10 seconds.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 6:43am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, thank-you for the terrific response. I'm going to go and check the instructions that come with the Epi-pen (haven't had a chance yet). The thing that disturbs me, aside from the fact that I haven't read the instructions on how to use the Epi-pen that come with the prescription, is that NO health care professional along the way has ever told me a thing about it's use.
I was never told that the shot only bought you twenty minutes to get to the hospital. I learned the hard way. My son almost died.
I like to think of myself as pro-active in my health care and long before I had children but I feel that for whatever reason(s), I really fell short with this one. So, if the two or three prescribing physicians of the Epi-pen didn't tell me, the allergist didn't tell me and the two dispensing pharmacists didn't tell me anything about the Epi-pen, is it really their fault. NO! It's mine. Why didn't I have a long list of questions about it? Why? I am racking my brain for an appropriate answer and there is not one.
When I was pregnant with Jesse, I had a journal in which I kept a long list of questions that I went over with my obstretician each time I saw him. He even joked with me about it - okay, bring out the questions. What has happened?
DMB, thank-you for mentioning the Emergency Action Plan form from FAAN. I had just read about it in their newsletter and was planning to e-mail them to ask them if they could send me a copy (my printer is not working). Now that you've told me how great it is, I'll be e-mailing them straight away.
I'm glad that at least everyone who has posted was at least told SOMETHING about the Epi-pen and it's useage. However, I can't totally blame the doctors/pharmacists. I should have asked questions. I'm really at a loss as to why I didn't.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 6:50am
creek14's picture
Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

Our allergist also told to hold for 10 and rub for 10. But then she said - "and if you can't do that, don't worry about it. Get as much of the epi in as you can, try to get some Benedryl in and call 911."

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 7:02am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

creek14, I don't understand how an allergist can be what I consider "flip" in a response about how to use the Epi-pen. Her comment just leaves so much room for misinterpretation and is really, if you think about it, downright wrong.
I know what's bothering me about this. Jesse has had the Epi-pen administered twice. This is twice that I did not know the information that I should have known. Now, the first time it was administered, it was done by a doctor at the medical centre next door to me.
The second time, it was administered by his Father, but I asked his Father to-day if he knew the count thing and he didn't. So now I'm wondering if we even got it right the last time we administered the Epi-pen. Did we leave the Epi-pen in long enough? Is it possible that we didn't and that's why Jesse started to "go" 20 minutes later?
I've thought it through and I think that Jesse would have started to "go" again regardless simply because he had experienced almost every symptom of anaphylaxis before the shot was administered.
However, it is just another thing to add to my list of things I feel much turmoil about.
I feel I should have known this. And I don't understand how in dealing with 3 family doctors, one allergist and 2 pharmacists how no one mentioned it along the way. But again, why didn't I question the 3 family doctors, one allergist and 2 pharmacists along the way?
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 7:09am
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Don't feel bad about not knowing. We learn each day something new. It's like me, when my daughter was first diagnosed, I was given this EpiPen, but with no instructions; what to look for or, to know when to give it to her. So, when she had her second reaction "The Big One" as we call it, anaphylactic and all, I didn't give it to her because I didn't know when, as she reacted over the course of several hours. I ended up getting chewed out by the ER doctor for over 10 minutes about how I almost killed my daughter!!
After being educated for over 2 hours with her allergist, I hope I know now what to do if I ever have to use the Epi.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 7:37am
creek14's picture
Joined: 06/13/2000 - 09:00

Cindy, she wasn't flip at all. She was serious. She made it very clear to us that if we have to inject, we might be hysterical, Luke would be hysterical, that the most important thing was to get some epi in him. Any amount was better than nothing. Actually I think that she told us that just to calm us. We had just seen our son almost die. Remember back when you first heard the PA diagnosis. Everything was overwhelming. Now that we are 4 years post diagnosis I have every confidence that I could inject, count to 10 and rub for 10. But back then I was a basket case, heck, I was afraid that I would forget to remove the stopper. It was rather reassuring that if I didn't count 1001, 1002, 1003...1010 that he would still get enough med to help him. She takes this allergy very seriously. She gave us a list of P-free daycares, she INSISTED that we join FAAN. She indulges my paranoia by giving me prescriptions for as many Epis I want. My bad if I made it sound like she doesn't care.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 7:42am
Mom to Cayley's picture
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

Linda Jo - that ER doctor should have be have been chewing out the doctor/pharmacist who gave you the EpiPen with no further instructions! How were you supposed to know! I often wonder if insulin-dependent diabetics get detailed instructions about how to use their needles and measure their doses. I bet they do! No doctor/allergist should prescribe needles without explaining how to use them, yet they seem to do it all the time.
Anyway, threads like this always make my leg hurt, so I'll just move on to something I recently read about Benadryl. Apparently giving Benadryl in liquid form to someone who is experiencing anaphylaxis-induced throat swelling could cause them to choke. I wish more allergist prescribed the sub-lingual tablets that go under the tongue - much safer, effective and easier to carry around. I'm going to ask my doctor about them next time we go.
creek14 - my allergist and pharmacist both said the same thing as yours - hold it up to 10 seconds or as long as you can - some is better than none, but I should try to get most of it in, sitting on Cayley to do it, if necessary.

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2001 - 8:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

creek14, I'm sorry. I misinterpreted what your allergist had said. Please forgive me.
Now, in re-reading your initial post and then your explanatory post (which you had to make because of what I posted in response), it now makes sense to me what she was saying. Some would be better than none. Okay.
Linda-Jo, thank-you. It sounds as though you and I have had very similar experiences. Fortunately for me, the ER doctor didn't chew me out when I finally got my son to emerg.
I'm so sorry to hear that. Thank-you also for your comforting words. I think you were able to provide them because of our experiences, I'm not sure.
That's why I had so much wanted to post this information, just in case someone else had walked away without being given any information by their doctor or pharmacist. I don't want anyone else to experience what I have - my child almost dying.
Best wishes! [img][/img]


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