Today is anaphylaxis awareness day.
I am celebrating by being in urgent care following anaphylaxis. As you can see, I always pull out all the stops for my parties.
If you are friends of mine, you should know that I carry an epipen. Most people who have an anaphylaxis or who have serious allergies carry one. It is designed to be easy to inject in case of a bad reaction.
You should learn how to use an epipen, even if you know no one who has serious reactions- if someone has a reaction in front of you…do you want to watch them die just because you didn’t know how to administer it?
So here’s how it goes.
1. Pull off the blue cap(s). Some brands have two, and some brands only have one.
2. Aim for the meaty part of the thigh.
3. Stab. Like you mean it
4. Hold it for ten seconds- count out loud if possible, that way the person may also hear it.
5. Remove the pen. Some epipens do not have a retractable needle- be careful not to puncture yourself.
6. Dial 911. (This is an important one, as epi only is a stop gap.)
7. Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives.
8. Congratulate yourself on a job well done. It’s scary, and you should be proud of yourself.
Anaphylaxis is quite dangerous, and needs to be treated appropriately. But remember: epi pens are designed to be easy to use. You can do it! Additionally, most epipens have instructions and diagrams on the side to help you use them properly. When it doubt, epi it out!
For my fellow anaphylaxis friends: this is not easy. And it’s in no way fun. But you are not alone, and we will make it through.