You may have seen the above image yesterday leading a popular blog post warning people of an EpiPen recall taking place in Australia. The composition and lighting is wonderful, highlighting the boy’s application of an EpiPen on his thigh. So what’s the problem? Everything.
While we understand the site doesn’t focus on food allergies and the author didn’t know better, it’s important for everyone to understand what they got wrong, lest you apply the device incorrectly in an emergency:
- An EpiPen should not be administered to the front of the leg; it must be applied to the outside of the upper thigh.
- The blue cap (“blue to sky, orange to thigh“) must be removed before the EpiPen is applied;
- You should never hold your thumb on the top of the device; you grasp the shaft of an EpiPen firmly when applying.
Using an auto-injector incorrectly could result in the failure of the device to function correctly, possibly wasting a critical dose of life-saving medication and causing injury.
Here’s a video reminder of how to use an EpiPen. Keep in mind that Auvi-Q and Adrenaclick epinephrine auto-injectors work differently but are applied to the same area of the thigh. Note that instructions regarding EpiPen administration were changed in June – now you are directed to keep the auto-injector in place during administration for 3 seconds rather than the 10 seconds mentioned in the video:
Please be sure to practice with the trainer from time to time and make sure family members, friends, and caretakers are trained and practiced in proper administration.
And don’t forget, Take 2 epinephrine auto-injectors along everywhere… every time!