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Using an Epi-pen (Read 169 times)


Cheap and Evil Girl

    Friday I was out for a run and was nearly home when it began to rain like crazy.  Out of nowhere a wasp or something landed on my face and when I brushed it off, it stung my face.  I got home within a couple minutes and  was able to scrape the stinger out of my face.

     

    A couple years ago I had a bad reaction to a ground bee sting (all over body hives, swollen eyelids, difficulty swallowing, chest pains-esophogeal spasms) so ever since then I have had an Epi-pen.

     

    This was the first time since then that I have gotten stung, so I chugged some Benedryl and crossed my fingers that the last bee sting reaction was a fluke.

     

    When the bottoms of my feet began to itch, I knew it wasn't going to be fun.  Then the hives started and I got my husband to jab me with the pen.  It was maybe 30 minutes from the time I got stung until I used the Epi-pen.

     

    Unfortunately the symptoms continued to progress, and I was having trouble swallowing, salivating, and my face was freakily swollen.

     

    I thought the Epi-pen was supposed to stop the allergic reaction?  Or is it just meant to slow it down so you can get to the hospital?  I also read that sometimes people carry not one but TWO pens, so they can give themselves a second dose?

     

    Has anyone with a bee sting allergy (or any kind of severe allergy) had to use an Epi-pen, and how did it work?  I feel like it didn't really work at all for me, the Benedryl seemed to be more effective in stopping the reaction (I took about 12 tsp!).  I am wondering if I should have had a second pen, but at the same time, I was kinda freaked out by the way my heart pounded after just one injection (although that could have been partly anxiety, I was scared shitless).

     

    About five hours after the sting my hives were nearly gone, swallowing okay and painless, and swelling reduced by 75%.  I am still a bit swollen today, but not so you'd really notice it.

     

    I still don't get why a wasp would be out flying in a rainstorm, or why it would land on me!!!

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.  

     

    "Mental toughness is built by doing something that is hard over and over again, especially when you don't feel like doing it. Our society has conditioned us to believe that there should be no discomfort, to stop when we are uncomfortable. But the discomfort we feel when we're doing a challenging workout is an important part of the strengthening process." -Jim Afremow, The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

       

      I thought the Epi-pen was supposed to stop the allergic reaction?  Or is it just meant to slow it down so you can get to the hospital?  I also read that sometimes people carry not one but TWO pens, so they can give themselves a second dose?

       

       

      ^THIS.

       I am not a medical professional, and I cannot comment on your particular allergy.

      However, my daughter has a peanut allergy, and this is what we were told - take the Epi-pen & go to the hospital immediately. I have never heard of taking a second one.

      Dave

      northernman


      Fight The Future

        Doesn't always work, as evidenced by this recent terrible news story. Not sure why it didn't work. It is supposed to temporarily suppress the allergic reaction. Problem is it is only temporary, and can wear off before the allergic reaction does, so definitely important to go to the Emergency Room if you have a history of serious reactions. And should have more then one EpiPen, and make sure the dosage is correct and the drug is not out of date. I'm not sure about wasp allergies, but peanut allergies are becoming more and more common. It's very scary. Very glad you are feeling better


        A Dance with Monkeys

          Epinephrine, the medication in an epipen, stops mast cell degranulation, which is the biologic basis for the allergic reaction symptoms. It is very effective. However, it is also very short lived, and the dose in a single epipen is not often enough. That is why you need to seek medical attention immediately after any epipen usage.

            Looks like the moral for you, Leah, is to keep the Epi-pens on hand, and to get to a doctor immediately if you get an insect sting.

             

            If it left a stinger, it was a bee.

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


            Feeling the growl again

              Epinephrine, the medication in an epipen, stops mast cell degranulation, which is the biologic basis for the allergic reaction symptoms. It is very effective. However, it is also very short lived, and the dose in a single epipen is not often enough. That is why you need to seek medical attention immediately after any epipen usage.

               

              This...

               

              and...

               

              "If it left a stinger, it was a bee."

               

              This.

               

              Bees sting.  Wasps bite.  I've been bitten bit the same wasp 6  times.

               

              If you have a history of allergic reaction to insect bites, I would seek medical attention for future bites as well.  Things can turn ugly in a hurry.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              Cheap and Evil Girl

                Looks like the moral for you, Leah, is to keep the Epi-pens on hand, and to get to a doctor immediately if you get an insect sting.

                 

                If it left a stinger, it was a bee.

                 

                My husband keeps honey bees in a couple hives on our property.  He said this stinger was massively huge compared to honey bee stingers. It was also kind of curved.  I don't know why, but it made me think wasp.  But I am not an entomologist, plus I never saw the thing.

                 

                Northernman and Trent, thanks for the scientific info.  Last year when I got the pen, I had just phoned in the script.  I never actually spoke to my NP about how to use it or how it works.  I did some looking online but didn't find anything but very general info.

                 

                Now I gotta figure out how to impress upon my husband that a sting could be very bad for me.  I thought we had an action plan in place, take Benedryl, take the shot, go to Urgent Care (20 min drive).  But when I got home Friday with the sting, he didn't seem too concerned and I am not good at asking for help.

                I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.  

                 

                "Mental toughness is built by doing something that is hard over and over again, especially when you don't feel like doing it. Our society has conditioned us to believe that there should be no discomfort, to stop when we are uncomfortable. But the discomfort we feel when we're doing a challenging workout is an important part of the strengthening process." -Jim Afremow, The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive


                Labrat

                  You need to have it demonstrated by a medical professional.

                   

                  A few key things remove the safety cap, where to inject (meat of thigh is easy enough), but also you have to make sure you keep the pen in place after the injection for at least 10 secs. (A lot of people forget this last part).

                   

                  Anytime you use one, go to the hospital afterwards. No ifs ands or buts. Take the used one with you, so they professionals can check the amount that was injected.

                   

                  And the likelihood is that future reactions will keep getting worse.

                  5K  23:21*  (Vdot 41.53)   10/13/12

                  10K  46:35  (Vdot 43.47)  10/4/14

                  HM 1:46:23 (Vdot 41.95) 11/9/13

                  FM 4:28:33 (Vdot 33.01) 11/12/11

                  *Gun time, all others are chip time

                     

                      Last year when I got the pen, I had just phoned in the script.  

                     

                    This brings up a point that I have with my daughter.  She is not allergic but is diabetic so we have to keep glucose pens around, but they do have an expiration date on them and I would think that your epipen would too.  If you got it a year ago, perhaps it had expired and the effectiveness of it was not as great as it would have been if it was new.


                    Labrat

                      They do have an expiration date, but it should have been > 12 months.

                       

                      (which reminds me I need to get a new one, the one here at work has expired)

                      5K  23:21*  (Vdot 41.53)   10/13/12

                      10K  46:35  (Vdot 43.47)  10/4/14

                      HM 1:46:23 (Vdot 41.95) 11/9/13

                      FM 4:28:33 (Vdot 33.01) 11/12/11

                      *Gun time, all others are chip time

                      superspike113


                      Freckle face

                        I carry an epi-pen for my nut allergy. The idea is to use the epi-pen so you can make it to the ER. The last time I had a nut reaction, we just drove to the ER because I only lived 3 blocks from the hospital. They made me stay for 4 hours so they could give me a couple big doses of IV benadryl and epinepherine. My Epi-pens come in 2-packs but I just carry one. The expirations on them are usually 18 mos or so.

                        2 Mile: 17: 11   5k PR: 27:45    5 Mile: 44:11    10K: 59:01    Half: 2:15:59     Marathon: 5:50:07

                         

                         

                        Chantilly75


                        It's always something...

                          Epi pen first, then grab a Benadryl if it is nearby (swallow it in the car), then ER. Don't wait around to see if there will be a reaction.

                          till the bottoms of my feet started to itch...this is waiting too long to use the Epi Pen. It is more effective, the sooner you use it.

                           

                          However, it is short acting and you still need the ER.

                          Your pharmacy should have some information handouts about the Epi pen.  Ask for it if they forget to offer information to you.

                          And checking for expiration dates on medications is something we all should do.

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          mab411


                          Proboscis Colossus

                             


                            Now I gotta figure out how to impress upon my husband that a sting could be very bad for me...But when I got home Friday with the sting, he didn't seem too concerned...

                             

                            The symptoms you presented didn't do the trick?  Sheesh...I'm sure there were nuances to that interaction that lessen the inappropriateness of his attitude, but if my wife's face blew up like it sounds like yours did, it would make an impression on me.  Not my place to judge, though, not knowing either of you and not being there.

                             

                            At the band camp I worked this summer, we had a little girl (7th or 8th grade) with a severe, severe nut allergy.  As in, dead within a minute if she was around someone who had been around peanuts.  The script was: epi, benedryl, another epi, hospital (steps two and three presumably while on the way to the hospital).

                             

                            She ended up going home after just a day or two due to homesickness, but if I'm that parent, I just can't imagine sending that poor kid off to an environment with such limited control over who she comes in contact with (this was an active college campus with summer classes in session, with all meals served in the on-campus cafeteria).

                            "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                            northernman


                            Fight The Future

                               

                              She ended up going home after just a day or two due to homesickness, but if I'm that parent, I just can't imagine sending that poor kid off to an environment with such limited control over who she comes in contact with (this was an active college campus with summer classes in session, with all meals served in the on-campus cafeteria).

                               

                              Well, you can go too far in being overprotective. Look up Vulnerable Child Syndrome. I would send someone like that to camp, along with clear instructions for the medical support people. Can't live in a glass box, you know

                              mab411


                              Proboscis Colossus

                                 

                                Well, you can go too far in being overprotective. Look up Vulnerable Child Syndrome. I would send someone like that to camp, along with clear instructions for the medical support people. Can't live in a glass box, you know

                                 

                                I absolutely agree in most cases - I've had many of my own students' parents disallow them from going to that camp because they've never been away from home before, and my internal scorn for them is fierce - but that's a pretty extreme danger.  The medical personnel aren't hovering over the kids, so if she's walking back to the dorm and a guy who had a PB&J for lunch walks by her, chances are her friends aren't going to know what to do (or be level-headed enough to execute the plan if they do) when she flops to the ground and starts gasping out the last minute of her life.

                                 

                                *shudder*

                                "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

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