Dr. Mark Donaldson, Director at VHA, US health care network of not-for-profit hospitals, speaks about the safety and efficacy of the long-used EpiPen.
Epinephrine is one of the most important medications in an emergency kit. It is the reversal agent required for anaphylactoid reactions.
- In most cases, there should be 3 EpiPens or EpiPen, Jr. in the office if treating an adult or pediatric patient, respectively.
- An ampule of epinephrine has a longer shelf life than an EpiPen.
- There is a high risk and incidence of auto-injection of health care professionals when attempting to administer the medication to the patient
- Epinephrine is administered intramuscularly into the vastus lateralis because it has very good vasculature and its uptake is quick
- The needle of the EpiPen is too short to effectively deposit the medication intramuscularly – as a result, the EpiPen must be held with continuous pressure for 10 seconds.
Allerject® auto-injector (Auvi-Q® in the United States)
- Needle length is not improved in this autoinjector
- It was recalled due to 26 device malfunctions in October 2015
Single 1:1000 1mg/mL dose
- Most effective for patients
- Break open with 2×2 gauze
- Draw up 0.3mL from the ampule for the adult patient (3 doses are contained within one ampule)
- Adrenalin can also be purchased as 1:1000 1mg/mL vials
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