EpiPen 101: Be in the Know

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An EpiPen is a life-saving tool that helps people treat severe allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can occur almost immediately after exposure, and may even turn life-threatening. It is important to recognize signs of a severe allergic reaction as soon as possible so an EpiPen can be used to counteract them. Some symptoms may include swelling in the mouth or eyes, hives and itching, cramps, nausea, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and more. If you are unsure if you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction, it is generally better to use an EpiPen.

So how is an EpiPen used properly? Always remember: blue to the sky, orange to the thigh. First grasp the EpiPen with the orange tip pointing down toward your thigh. Remove the blue safety cap by pulling straight up – do not twist or bend the cap. Next place the orange tip near the middle of the outer thigh; make sure there is nothing in the way that could impede the needle from administering medication (i.e phone, wallet, keys). Swing and push the auto-injector firmly into the thigh until it clicks. Hold firmly in place for 3 full seconds.

After administering an EpiPen it is recommended to call 911/seek medical assistance as the effects of epinephrine can wear off, or you can experience a second reaction. Remember to always carry your EpiPen with you at all times!

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