If your child has a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction, it is important to understand how to use an epinephrine, or epi, shot, usually from an injectable device such as an EpiPen(R), in a shot pack. An epi shot is easy to administer and will help save your child's life.
How to Administer the Epinephrine
Your child needs to hold still during the injection. If she cannot, have another adult hold your child. If you are alone with your child, lay him down and then lay down across his chest to keep him still. Use one hand to hold a leg and the other hand to give the injection.
- With the injector's tip facing down, grab it with one hand and make a fist. Do not touch the tip.
- With the other hand, remove the cover from the shot.
- Hold the injector close to your child's leg and jab the shot forcefully into the thigh. The shot should be given only in the upper leg muscle of the child. The shot can and should be given through clothing.
- Hold the injector in your child's thigh for 10 seconds. You should see a red flag in the injector window, which indicates that the epinephrine has been given.
- Remove the injector and hold your hand over the injection site, rubbing the area for 10 seconds. Many epinephrine packs come with an antihistamine tablet. Give your child a tablet.
- Put the injector in the storage tube that came in the pack and keep it with you to give to the doctor later.
- Call 911. A shot is not a cure or a complete treatment for an allergic reaction; it simply gives you more time to get your child to the hospital.
After you have given the shot, there will be liquid remaining in the injector. This remaining liquid does not mean that you should re-inject your child. It is normal for liquid to remain. Be sure that your shot pack is always with your child. Teachers and caregivers should always carry the pack and be confident giving this shot.
You can also ask your pharmacist for a shot trainer to help you and your child practice how an injection will be given. Practicing and discussing the shot with your child before an emergency can help your child be a willing participant.
The epinephrine shot can be effective only if the medicine is still potent. Epi shots do not need to be refrigerated, but they do need to be kept at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. There are three instances when the shot pack should be replaced: If the liquid in the injector is no longer clear, if particles are floating in it, or if the expiration date on the shot pack has passed, throw out the pack immediately and get your prescription refilled.
Copyright ? 2012 Meredith Corporation.
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