Top Tips for Students (and Friends of Students) with Severe Allergic Reaction
An EpiPen is an epinephrine auto-injector used to treat a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is potentially fatal, and is considered a “treat first, then call for help” medical emergency. A single dose of epinephrine, properly administered, is extremely low risk and if given properly can save the person’s life!
1) Keep your EpiPen with you at all times – the Student Wellness Centre unfortunately sees students frequently that are known to suffer with severe allergic reactions but have left their EpiPen at home or in their residence room. During an allergic reaction timing is of the essence. Hesitating or not giving the EpiPen can lead to a life threatening situation.
2) Know how to use the EpiPen – Anyone can give the EpiPen in an Emergency. Teach your friends and family members how to use and where you keep it before an emergency. Review how to give an EpiPen at least once per year.
- Hold firmly with orange tip pointing downward.
- Remove blue safety cap by pulling straight up. Do not bend or twist.
- Swing and push orange tip firmly into mid-outer thigh until you hear a ‘click’.
- Hold on thigh for ten seconds.
- After injection, the orange cover automatically extends to ensure the needle is never exposed.
3) Call 911 or (88 on Campus) after using the EpiPen – It is important to call and ask for an ambulance, as the effects of the Epinepherine can wear off and the person could
have a second reaction.
4 Wear a medical ID bracelet – A Medical Identification bracelet and carrying a card that lists your medical information will help to quickly identify your condition in the event of a severe allergic reaction. This is particularly important for those who have an unidentified trigger.