Parents are being urged to watch a new cartoon with advice on how to act if their child has an anaphylactic shock.
The cartoon has been launched to coincide with Food Allergy and Intolerance Week (January 23-29th) and can be seen at http://www.epipen.co.uk/patient/how-to-use-video.html.
EpiPen® Auto-Injector, the market leader for the emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in children and adults, launched the online educational video to help people understand what to do during a severe allergic reaction.
Allergic conditions including asthma and eczema are on the increase – and nut allergies are on the rise too, with up to one in 50 children in the UK allergic to peanuts. Reactions can range from mild itching and rashes to life-threatening breathing problems which kill an average of seven young people a year.
The most common food triggers are nuts and peanuts but dairy products such as milk and eggs, fish and shellfish and fruit can also be a trigger.
EpiPen’s potentially life-saving treatment with its unique and trusted ‘swing and jab’ action is relied on by thousands of people in the UK at risk of an allergic emergency.
Free training devices are also available to sufferers so they can practise using an EpiPen® Auto-Injector without its needle or adrenaline to improve their technique. Parents can register online with the expiry alert service to ensure the devices are within their expiry date and can order free protective hard carry cases for their EpiPen® Auto-Injector. All these can be requested from the website www.epipen.co.uk. The site also contains an ABC of tips and advice for patients.
The ABC of being prepared for an anaphylactic shock
A = Awareness of symptoms
Common symptoms of a severe attack are:
- Swelling of tongue or throat
- Wheezing, coughing, noisy breathing
- Struggling to speak or swallow
- Feeling of impending doom
B = Be Prepared
Make sure you know how to use your pen – and practise regularly. Free training devices are available to order from www.epipen.co.uk
C = Carry two pens
Sometimes it is necessary to administer a second pen 5-15 minutes after the initial dose, if symptoms do not improve sufficiently. It is therefore advisable that patients are prescribed and carry two pens.
D = Don’t delay
Epipen Jr (adrenaline) auto-injector should be given immediately, as symptom onset and progression can be rapid.
E = Explain to others
Show teachers, grandparents and siblings where the pens are kept and how to use them so they can get comfortable with its administration if required.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death, either through swelling that shuts off airways or through a significant drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis can be triggered by certain foods, insect stings, medications, latex or other allergens. Food allergies are the most common trigger of anaphylaxis.
The role of Epinephrine
Epinephrine is the first-line therapy for the treatment of an allergic emergency. It quickly begins working to reverse symptoms of an allergic emergency by constricting blood vessels to increase blood pressure, relaxing smooth muscles in the lungs to reduce wheezing to improve breathing, stimulating the heart (increasing heart rate), and working to reduce hives as well as swelling that may occur around the face and lips.