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Author Topic: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen  (Read 340 times)

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Offline Penny

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Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« on: June 13, 2017, 05:08:51 PM »
I live in New Zealand where we have national health care.  I can buy an Epi-pen for about US$120 or I can use the subsidized syringe and ampule of adrenalin (US$3). If I were low-income or a child, the Epi-pen would be subsidized. I know how to give injections so it seems a logical choice for me. The big plus is that it doesn't take up as much room in my purse.I've never had to use my epi-pen after carrying one for ten years or so. Does anyone here carry a syringe/adrenalin instead of an Epi-pen?

Offline gvmom

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 01:07:50 PM »
Do you typically have 2 Epi-pens.... you know, in case of misfire or somebody does it wrong?

If you normally carry 2 auto injectors, I could see maybe trading one out for the syringe/adrenalin.  The initial injection though, I see being sort of risky trading out, given that the assumption is that you might need help and couldn't give yourself the injection. 

How confident would you be in a stranger being able to use a syringe/adrenalin on you?  I used to give myself injections for allergies and even I would be pretty nervous in an emergency situation prepping a syringe and pulling off the proper measure of adrenalin to give to someone else or myself.

I also am a big believer in thinking once you change something out because it has been 10 years or more you are sort of tempting fate, so to speak.  Of course, I was just talking to DS1 how I feel about saying "never" about things.....
"..... who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom

".... but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom

Offline Penny

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 07:46:36 PM »
Do you typically have 2 Epi-pens.... you know, in case of misfire or somebody does it wrong?

If you normally carry 2 auto injectors, I could see maybe trading one out for the syringe/adrenalin.  The initial injection though, I see being sort of risky trading out, given that the assumption is that you might need help and couldn't give yourself the injection. 

How confident would you be in a stranger being able to use a syringe/adrenalin on you?  I used to give myself injections for allergies and even I would be pretty nervous in an emergency situation prepping a syringe and pulling off the proper measure of adrenalin to give to someone else or myself.

I also am a big believer in thinking once you change something out because it has been 10 years or more you are sort of tempting fate, so to speak.  Of course, I was just talking to DS1 how I feel about saying "never" about things.....

I have two epi-pens, both expired but the fluid is clear in both so I'll continue to carry them. I'm playing the odds that I won't have another reaction and if I do, that I'll be able to give myself the shot, but it does make me a bit nervous. The ampule has two doses in it so if nothing else, it's backup. Perhaps I'll feel less stingy when the expired epi-pens are no longer safe, and then I'll be less reluctant to spend the $$.

I've been having what's called 'severe localized reactions' to wasp stings. Technically it's an allergic reaction but not an anaphylactic one. But the thought that it could become ana, is what prompted me to make sure I had unexpired epi on hand. Thanks for your input.




Offline gvmom

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 10:20:18 PM »
I've been having what's called 'severe localized reactions' to wasp stings. Technically it's an allergic reaction but not an anaphylactic one. But the thought that it could become ana, is what prompted me to make sure I had unexpired epi on hand. Thanks for your input.

That is scary!  Depending on where they sting you (like your neck), it is good you are thinking to keep an epi. 

Do you have wasp stings noted somewhere medically?  I'm wondering if a doc would also include that for needing an epi, or if you'd have to go through a bunch of testing.

Also, before you decided to fully jump in with syringe & ampule, would a doc give you something to practice with on an orange or something?   
"..... who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom

".... but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom

Offline Penny

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 02:04:34 AM »
I've been having what's called 'severe localized reactions' to wasp stings. Technically it's an allergic reaction but not an anaphylactic one. But the thought that it could become ana, is what prompted me to make sure I had unexpired epi on hand. Thanks for your input.

That is scary!  Depending on where they sting you (like your neck), it is good you are thinking to keep an epi. 

Do you have wasp stings noted somewhere medically?  I'm wondering if a doc would also include that for needing an epi, or if you'd have to go through a bunch of testing.

Also, before you decided to fully jump in with syringe & ampule, would a doc give you something to practice with on an orange or something?


Back in a previous life I had a medical background so I know how to give injections. Though sticking my own leg will be a new experience.

The last 2 or 3 stings were on my hands (gardening)  My knuckles disappear and my arm swells to my elbow. It lasts for about a week. I take steroids and antihistamines, which help. Mosquitoes do a similar thing to me - it's called skeeter syndrome and is also considered a localized allergic reaction. My GP knows I carry epi for PA. She advised that when I'm stung to keep the epi nearby but the chances of anaphylaxis aren't high. 

"Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito saliva. It can present with extremeSkeeter Syndrome Mosquito Bite swelling, itching, blistering, infection, fever and in some cases anaphylactic shock, asthma and cellulitis. Most people will experience some level of allergic reaction, with itching and redness, individuals who suffer from skeeter syndrome experience a very extreme reaction".

http://www.skeetersyndrome.net/



Offline SilverLining

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 12:20:35 PM »
I've been having what's called 'severe localized reactions' to wasp stings. Technically it's an allergic reaction but not an anaphylactic one. But the thought that it could become ana, is what prompted me to make sure I had unexpired epi on hand. Thanks for your input.

That is scary!  Depending on where they sting you (like your neck), it is good you are thinking to keep an epi. 

Do you have wasp stings noted somewhere medically?  I'm wondering if a doc would also include that for needing an epi, or if you'd have to go through a bunch of testing.

Also, before you decided to fully jump in with syringe & ampule, would a doc give you something to practice with on an orange or something?


Back in a previous life I had a medical background so I know how to give injections. Though sticking my own leg will be a new experience.

The last 2 or 3 stings were on my hands (gardening)  My knuckles disappear and my arm swells to my elbow. It lasts for about a week. I take steroids and antihistamines, which help. Mosquitoes do a similar thing to me - it's called skeeter syndrome and is also considered a localized allergic reaction. My GP knows I carry epi for PA. She advised that when I'm stung to keep the epi nearby but the chances of anaphylaxis aren't high. 

"Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito saliva. It can present with extremeSkeeter Syndrome Mosquito Bite swelling, itching, blistering, infection, fever and in some cases anaphylactic shock, asthma and cellulitis. Most people will experience some level of allergic reaction, with itching and redness, individuals who suffer from skeeter syndrome experience a very extreme reaction".

http://www.skeetersyndrome.net/


Do you know how to give an injection while losing consciousness? While losing periferal vision? While shaking from the surge of adrenaline your body may produce in it's effort to save you?

If you can answer yes to all that, AND yes to when all three happen at once....go for it.

When I had my worst anaphylactic reaction I would have been unable to use an epi-pen. I could not have pulled the back off or held it in a fist and swung or jabbed with the force required. But, if I had an epipen with me, someone else could have used it on me.

~~~

Penny, I hope my reply does not sound rude. I'm not actually capable of judging right now, so if it is, I apologize.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.  ~~~  Maurice Setter


Offline Penny

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 12:46:42 PM »
I've been having what's called 'severe localized reactions' to wasp stings. Technically it's an allergic reaction but not an anaphylactic one. But the thought that it could become ana, is what prompted me to make sure I had unexpired epi on hand. Thanks for your input.

That is scary!  Depending on where they sting you (like your neck), it is good you are thinking to keep an epi. 

Do you have wasp stings noted somewhere medically?  I'm wondering if a doc would also include that for needing an epi, or if you'd have to go through a bunch of testing.

Also, before you decided to fully jump in with syringe & ampule, would a doc give you something to practice with on an orange or something?


Back in a previous life I had a medical background so I know how to give injections. Though sticking my own leg will be a new experience.

The last 2 or 3 stings were on my hands (gardening)  My knuckles disappear and my arm swells to my elbow. It lasts for about a week. I take steroids and antihistamines, which help. Mosquitoes do a similar thing to me - it's called skeeter syndrome and is also considered a localized allergic reaction. My GP knows I carry epi for PA. She advised that when I'm stung to keep the epi nearby but the chances of anaphylaxis aren't high. 

"Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito saliva. It can present with extremeSkeeter Syndrome Mosquito Bite swelling, itching, blistering, infection, fever and in some cases anaphylactic shock, asthma and cellulitis. Most people will experience some level of allergic reaction, with itching and redness, individuals who suffer from skeeter syndrome experience a very extreme reaction".

http://www.skeetersyndrome.net/


Do you know how to give an injection while losing consciousness? While losing periferal vision? While shaking from the surge of adrenaline your body may produce in it's effort to save you?

If you can answer yes to all that, AND yes to when all three happen at once....go for it.

When I had my worst anaphylactic reaction I would have been unable to use an epi-pen. I could not have pulled the back off or held it in a fist and swung or jabbed with the force required. But, if I had an epipen with me, someone else could have used it on me.

~~~

Penny, I hope my reply does not sound rude. I'm not actually capable of judging right now, so if it is, I apologize.


SL, you don't sound rude, just honest. I posted my question here to find out if I'm making a mistake by going the route with syringe and adrenalin. I've not had an ana reaction like you have. I would have been capable of giving myself an injection but I've only had two severe reactions. But I've been a member here for umpteen years so I know that reactions are unpredictable.

I live alone so I can't count on anyone else to give me the shot. But on the other hand, my diet varies little when I'm alone. A reaction would more likely be after eating in a restaurant or at someone's house. I've still got two expired epi-pens. Will do some thinking.

Thanks. :-) 

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 01:47:07 PM »
Unfortunately, I can relate and echo what SL said.  In a reaction using an EpiPen is difficult enough, if not impossible due to cognitive and physical impairment caused by the reaction itself... And all that can happen within seconds, before you even realise it's time to use Epi.  I would never switch to a phial and syringe for that reason alone.  I have been down that road too many times - though I was thankfully able to administer my own adrenaline auto injector all but once.  Plus, trusting a bystander to use a syringe without any instructions (assuming they even know how to use a syringe properly) could be dangerous if they injected it into the wrong part of the body, gave you an incorrect dose, gave you an air bubble into a vein, etc.  And - people trained in first aid will not be trained to use a phial and syringe, only autoinjectors - so the people able to help you if you were unable to help yourself would be limited to medical personnel and possibly diabetics and drug users, both of which use very different injection methods that wouldn't work for adrenaline. 

$200 per year (for two autoinjectors) is worth it. 

Some things to consider, from someone who has been down that road too many times.
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline Penny

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Re: Using syringe & epinephrine instead of an Epi-pen
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 01:58:07 PM »
Thanks spacecanada.  I appreciate your feedback.