NHS advice on using Epi Pens

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Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should:

1
Use an adrenalin auto injector if the person has one- but make sure you know how to use it.
2
Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better) – tell them that you think the person has anaphylaxis.
3
Remove any trigger if possible- for example, carefully remove any stinger stuck in the skin.
4
Lie the person down flat- unless they’re unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties .
5
Give another injection after 5 – 15 minutes if the symptoms do not improve and a second auto injector is available.If you’re having an anaphylactic reaction, you can follow these five steps yourself if you feel able to.
Adrenaline auto-injections
People with potentially serious allergies are often prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors to carry at all times .These can help stop an anyphylactic reactions becoming threatening.
They should be used as soon as a serious reaction is suspected, either by the person experiencing anaphlaxis or someone helping them.
Make sure you’re aware of how to use your type of auto injector correctly. And carry two of them at all times.
There are three main types of adrenaline auto-injector [EpiPen, Jext, Emerade], which are used in slightly different ways.
Instructions are also included on the side of each injector.
Positioning and resuscitation
Someone experiencing anaphylaxis should be placed in a comfortable position:
Most people should lie flat
Pregnant women should lie on their left side to avoid putting too much pressure on the large vein that leads to the heart.
People havi ng trouble breathing should sit up to help make breathing easier
People who are unconscious should be placed in the recovery position to ensure the airway remains open and clear- place them on their side, making sure they’re supported by one leg and one arm, and open their airway by lifting their chin.
Avoid a sudden change to an upright posture such as standing or sitting up – this can cause a dangerous fall in blood pressure.If the person’s breathing or heart stops, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be performed immediately. You will need to go to hospital for observation- usually for 6-12 hours- as the symptoms can return during this period.
Source and further details: www.nhs.uk/conditions/ anaphylaxis/treatment.
October 2020.

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