Allergy and Epi-pen


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Allergy and Epi-pen

  1. 1. Allergy & Epi-Pen Mandatory Training<br />
  2. 2. What is an Allergy?<br />Allergies occur when the immune system becomes<br />unusually sensitive and overreacts to common<br />substances that are normally harmless. Examples are:<br />Foods – most common tree nuts, especially peanuts and fish; also, eggs, milk, wheat, soy, sesame and some food additives<br />Stings from bees, wasps, hornets and some ants<br />Medications – penicillin, sulfa drugs<br />Exercise<br />Latex (gloves/medical devices)<br />
  3. 3. What is Anaphylaxis?<br />Occurs when a person is exposed to an allergen causing a severe, life-threatening allergic response<br />Reactions can occur within seconds of exposure to an allergen, but can be delayed for 2-3 hours<br />Affects various organ systems including the skin, respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal<br />
  4. 4. Why is this life-threatening?<br />Causes airway obstruction/lack of oxygen to the brain<br />Increases risk of SHOCK, which leads to widespread tissue damage, organ failure and eventually death<br />
  5. 5. Common Symptoms<br />Skin – hives , swelling, itching, warmth, redness, rash<br />Respiratory (breathing) – wheezing, shortness of breath, throat tightness, cough, hoarse voice, chest pain/tightness, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms (runny itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing), trouble swallowing<br />Gastrointestinal (stomach): nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhea<br />Cardiovascular (heart): pale/blue colour, weak pulse, passing out, dizzy/lightheaded, shock<br />Other: anxiety, feeling of “impending doom” and headache<br />If a child is allergic to nuts and he smells them, he may develop symptoms, but not a life-threatening reaction<br />
  6. 6. FACTS ABOUT EPINEPHRINE<br />Many people who are subject to severe allergic reactions are prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector by their physician to use when such a reaction occurs.<br />Some examples of severe allergies:<br /> bee stings, peanut, nut and food allergies, latex products and shell fish<br />
  7. 7. SYMPTOMS OF A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION<br />Swelling of the face, tongue and/or lips<br />Irritability<br />Loss of consciousness<br />Breathing difficulty, wheezing or both<br />Bluish color to the skin (cyanosis)<br />Dizziness, faintness<br />Flushing of face, chest, etc.<br />Tightness of throat and chest<br />Hard-to-find or weak pulse (circulatory collapse)<br />Seizures<br />
  8. 8. Mild to Moderate Allergic Reaction : Hives and Swelling of face<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Anaphylaxis: What should I do?<br />Symptoms of anaphylaxis can be as simple as tingling of the lips or as severe as cardiac arrest. When in doubt, administer epinephrine<br />If a person says they are having a reaction it is important to believe them, and immediately administer epinephrine regardless of the symptoms present<br />After giving the epinephrine, call the office to get the nurse and have them call 911-do not wait for the nurse<br /> It is an emergency and the epinephrine <br /> must be given and 911 must be called<br />
  11. 11. What is a Single Dose, Epinephrine Auto-injector?<br />A single dose auto-injector is an easy way to give epinephrine/adrenaline to someone having an allergic reaction<br />E.g. EpiPen®, Twinject®<br />Trainers are available for practice using- please see your school nurse.<br />
  12. 12. FACTS ABOUT EPINEPHRINE<br />Epinephrine has been prescribed for patients who are susceptible to severe allergic reactions. Epinephrine is a hormone produced by the body. <br />When given as a medication, it will help to raise the blood pressure and improve profusion along with helping to open the airway and improve respiration.<br />
  13. 13. EPINEPRHINEAUTO-INJECTOR<br />Adult/Child Dosage<br /> Called the Epi-Pen and contains 0.30 mg of epinephrine<br />Small Child Dosage:<br /> Called the Epi-Pen Jr. and contains 0.15 mg of epinephrine.<br />The appropriate dosage for the student will be written by his/her doctor or advanced practice nurse. <br />
  14. 14. Epi-Pen<br />THERE ARE NO CONTRAINDICATIONS WHEN EPINEPHRINE IS USED IN A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY<br />SIDE EFFECTS:<br /> Increased heart rate, pallor, dizziness, chest pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, excitability and anxiety<br />
  15. 15. IF NOT SURE TO USE EPI-PEN<br />If you are not sure, but the individual seems uncomfortable or in distress – <br />USE THE EPI-PEN<br />It is safer to use the Epi-Pen than to wait<br />
  16. 16. EPI-PEN PROCEDURE<br />Have someone else call 911 and notify the parents. (In a school setting you should have a student inform the main office to alert school officials) <br />Check the Epi-Pen solution color – must be clear to use<br />Remove the gray safety cap from the Epi-Pen<br />
  17. 17. EPI-PEN PROCEDURE<br />Hold the Epi-Pen with the black tip against the outer (lateral) area of the thigh muscle - this is the onlyarea where the Epi-Pen is to be used<br />If accidentally injected into your hand or foot – go immediately to the emergency room<br />
  18. 18. EPI-PEN PROCEDURE<br />Apply moderate pressure to hear the “click” then hold for 10 seconds.<br />How the Epi-Pen delivers the medication:<br /> Pushing the Epi-Pen against the outer (lateral) thigh releases a spring-activated plunger, pushing the concealed needle into the thigh muscle and delivering a dose of epinephrine<br />
  19. 19. EPI-PEN PROCEDURE<br />Remove the Epi-Pen and massage the site (to prevent tissue damage)<br />If necessary, the Epi-Pen can be used directly through clothing<br />Be prepared to begin C.P.R.<br />
  20. 20. EPI-PEN PROCEDURE<br />Stay with the individual, keeping them warm and resting until emergency medical help arrives<br />IMPORTANT: send the Epi-Pen along with the E.M.T.’s<br />Make sure the parent/guardian has been called<br />
  21. 21. EPI-PEN<br />The effects of the injection can wear off after 10-20 minutes. Symptoms can recur.<br />
  22. 22. What to do after giving a single dose auto-injector?<br />Make sure someone stays with the person<br />Have person lie still on his back with feet higher than the head<br /> Loosen tight clothing and cover person with whatever is available-coat/blanket<br />If there is vomiting, turn person on side to prevent choking<br />Don’t give anything to drink<br />Send used auto-injector with student to hospital<br />A Twinject has two doses-one on each end-staff may only give one <br />
  23. 23. Who Can Give the Epi-Pen?<br />All staff are required to be able to give the epi-pen when needed<br />Epi-Pen trainers are always available to borrow and practice or get 1:1 training by the nurse-they are easy to use once trained<br />Students with anaphylaxis and epi-pens keep their epi-pens with them or in the main office<br />Epi-pens must go on all field trips that an anaphylactic student attends<br />See the school nurses for a refresher course or to practice using Epi-Pen<br />
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