How To Use An EpiPen
Hopefully you aren’t having to use an EpiPen
too frequently, so it’s understandable if you need
a refresher on how to use one!
Follow our step-by-step guide below. Or better yet,
come and familiarise yourself with our “hands-on” EpiPen training included in our first aid course.
What Is It?
The EpiPen is a disposable, automatic injection used in the first aid setting for the management of anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction. It contains a synthetic version of adrenaline called epinephrine; hence the name EpiPen. Evidence suggests that delayed administration of epinephrine leads to a higher rate of fatalities.
“Adrenaline is a naturally occurring hormone…”
How To Administer It
- Call 000.
- Lie the patient flat (if possible), but if they are having trouble breathing keep them seated upright.
- Remove the allergen.
- Check the EpiPen’s expiry date and make sure the solution is clear.
- Hold firmly with the orange tip pointing down towards the mid-thigh.
“Blue to the sky, Orange to the thigh…”
- Remove blue safety cap by pulling straight upwards (no bending or twisting).
- Push the orange tip firmly into the mid outer thigh until you hear a “click”.
- Hold in place for 3 seconds.
- Remove from patient’s thigh, the orange needle cover will automatically extend to cover the needle.
- Safely dispose of autoinjector (preferably into a sharps container).
- Re-administer a second EpiPen if little or no improvement after 5 minutes.
EpiPens are quick to take effect, but will WEAR OFF just as quickly!
NOTE: Adrenaline is fast acting, but also has a relatively short half-life (meaning it wears off quickly). Consider the need for subsequent doses after approximately 5 minutes. This is why most known anaphylactics’ tend to carry at least 2 EpiPens’ with them at all times.
The more you know!