Auto-Injector Effectiveness Tip: Practice Makes Perfect

Here’s a tip that might someday save your life, or that of a loved one: two to four times a year, review the proper way to use your epinephrine auto-injector. This review should include yourself, and anyone around you (family, friends, colleagues) who may need to administer emergency epinephrine.

Plan the review around recurring calendar dates such as the winter and summer solstice, and the spring and fall equinox. Or, do it the first of each year and on July fourth. You might schedule the refresh sessions on family member’s birthdays or anniversaries—whatever helps remind you.

Why Practice Is Vital

The reason for regular auto-injector instruction is twofold:

First, an onset of anaphylaxis is not the time to be racking your brain for proper auto-injector protocol. Emergencies often scatter our thoughts. The more automatic your actions, the better.

Second, a recent study found that most people having auto-injectors use them incorrectly. Out of 102 study participants, only 16 percent demonstrated proper protocol. Most made one or several mistakes that, in a real emergency, would prevent them from getting the life-saving benefits of ephinephrine.

The most common user errors were:

  • Not holding the injector in place for at least ten seconds after releasing the trigger (most frequent error).
  • Not depressing the trigger with enough force to activate the injection.
  • Failing to place the needle end of the injector on the thigh.

The researchers found that correct auto-injector use was not related to a specific clinic affiliation, patient education level, or whether other family members had used a similar instrument.

Ounce of Preparation

“Our study suggests that either people weren’t properly trained in how to use these devices, didn’t completely understand the instructions even after training, or forgot the instructions over time,” said allergist and lead researcher Rana Bonds, MD, ACAAI Fellow.

Whatever the reason for ineffective auto-injector use, one remedy is a regular review and practice of proper technique. Memory refreshment is the only way to become aware of things forgotten or mis-remembered. To put a spin on Ben Franklin’s famous quote: “An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.”

Source: Food Allergy
Photo: Pixabay

Latest Community Discussions

Latest Post by Tauhatola Tue, 07/14/2020 - 4:28pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by Theschaeffers Mon, 07/13/2020 - 10:53am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 2:17pm
Comments: 173
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 2:08pm
Comments: 714
Latest Post by beachgal2020 Thu, 07/09/2020 - 1:51pm
Comments: 483
Latest Post by doggydude (not verified) Wed, 07/08/2020 - 6:06am
Comments: 9

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

Peanuts and Nuts Can Trigger An Asthma Attack

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI), more than 3...

There are more "peanut-free" products than ever on the supermarket shelves. This means more choices than ever for peanut-allergic shoppers and...

It Is Easy To Buy Peanut Free Chocolate Online

Ask any parent of a child with a potentially life-...

How Do You Determine If A Food Is Safe For A Peanut Allergic Person?

The answer varies. “Peanut-free” means different things to different...

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a New Drug Application for an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) designed for use with...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

It’s hard to think of Chinese food without thinking of peanuts. China is the world’s leading peanut producer, and that’s not a coincidence....

Soymilk is one of the most popular alternatives to cow’s milk. As well as being rich in fiber, soy is a great source of protein and contains all...

My mom was at a lakeside restaurant enjoying fish and chips when her mouth began tingling. The next day at a family gathering, we had grilled...

Peanuts and peanut oil are cheap and easy additives to food and other commercial goods. It is surprising (and alarming if you have a...

Vegetable oil is healthy before it is hydrogenated and a process that requires adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Oils that are often...

Although it's true that peanuts are in many snack items, there are several snacks that do not contain peanuts. Anyone who has a peanut...

The most frightening thing about a severe allergic reaction to a new food is that it can happen so fast. If parents are not looking for allergic...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

Families who have food allergies are familiar with reading food labels and of being aware of everything that they or their allergic child eats....

If a parent is alert and observing their toddler when peanuts are first introduced, the chance of the child receiving help if she has a reaction...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...

Dealing with food allergies can be difficult, especially if you're not sure what's 'safe' to buy. This is especially true for those with severe...

Are you craving sweets? Those with peanut allergies must be especially careful when indulging their...