Anaphylaxis: How to administer epinephrine

Anaphylaxis can be managed with a shot of epinephrine. If an individual developed a severe allergic reaction in the past, it can be frightening. The indications of breathing issues, swelling and itchiness can occur rapidly and become dangerous.

A shot can delay or impede an allergic reaction. It is vital to have an auto-injector epinephrine always and knowing how to use it properly.

How to administer an epinephrine shot

  • An injector usually has an orange or black-colored point. Grasp the epinephrine injector in one fist with the point directed downwards. Avoid touching the tip.
  • With your other hand, pull off the gray or blue cap.
    Epinephrine shot

    In some severe instances, another shot of epinephrine is given. The doctor will clarify if there is a need for a second shot is required.

  • Grasp the orange or black point near the exterior thigh. Administer a shot firmly into the thigh. You can also deliver a shot through clothing if needed, but exposed skin is ideal. Remember that the injection must go directly into the skin at a 90-degree approach to the exterior thigh.
  • Keep the injector in the exterior thigh for 10 seconds.
  • Draw out the injector from the exterior thigh and place your hand on the area where the medication entered the skin. Rub the area for 10 seconds.
  • Place the consumed injector, needle-end initially into the storage cylinder that comes with the injector. Take care not to twist the needle. Bolt on the cap of the tube. Take the used injector with you to the emergency department.

It is important to note that an epinephrine shot does not exchange the necessity to be assessed by a healthcare professional. Once a shot is given, seek immediate medical care. The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can recur or worsen after a shot is given.

The individual will feel the effects of the medication right away. In most cases, it can include a fast heart rate along with nervousness as well as improved breathing. The benefits of the shot usually last for 10-20 minutes.

In some severe instances, another shot of epinephrine is given. The doctor will clarify if there is a need for a second shot is required. Remember that excess epinephrine can lead to serious side effects such as difficulty breathing.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on dealing with anaphylaxis using epinephrine is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage sudden medical emergencies including anaphylaxis by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.

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