An EpiPen is for people with a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis.
The EpiPen is a lifesaving device delivering a specific amount of the drug, Epinephrine. It is carried today by an increasing number of adults and children. The device, when used properly, is life-saving. However, the way it’s sometimes used on TV and in movies is completely WRONG!
In the movie Horrible Bosses, one of the main characters is shown straddling the chest of a man with a peanut allergy who was (you guessed it) exposed to peanuts. In an attempt to save his life, the main character stabs him in the chest—repeatedly!—with the EpiPen. While this is a comedic film, the action is often portrayed the same way in more serious movies.
THIS IS COMPLETLEY WRONG.
The EpiPen should never be used on the chest and never used more than once.
The very real danger is that someone will see it used on TV and think this is the correct way to administer the medication.
The EpiPen is designed to be placed against a large muscle, such as the thigh. When the safety cap is removed place the EpiPen against the muscle and a spring-loaded needle injects the medication, Epinephrine, into the muscle in a controlled dose, then the needle is retracted.
Maybe you’ve seen this campaign: Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh.
Do you have questions about EpiPens or the administration of other medications?
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