Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Life Saving Information

Somewhere I have a more "New Year's" type blog post saved and it will come soon, but this one is more important, because it may save someone's life.
If you reading this post, you have the capabilities to save someone's life.  I've posted before about how to save lives (The pen looks different now, as shown in this post).  If you don't know how to use an Epi-Pen, please check those posts out.  They contain life saving information.
If you already know how to use an Epi-Pen, please continue reading for further important information.
The creators of Epi-Pen released a warning.
Here it is: "When the blue safety cap is removed from the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr, it is important that it is removed by pulling it straight up.  The blue safety cap should NOT be removed by pulling it sideways or bending and twisting. Inappropriate removal of the blue safety cap may prevent the device from working properly and potentially result in failure to deliver the drug."
Another important reminder is to know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis or a severe life threatening reaction.
Here are some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis:

Abdominal pain or cramping
Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
Difficulty breathing
Difficulty swallowing
Fainting, light-headedness, dizziness
Hives, itchiness
Nasal congestion
Nausea, vomiting
Skin redness
Slurred speech

Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
Low blood pressure
Mental confusion
Rapid pulse
Skin that is blue from lack of oxygen or pale from shock
Swelling (angioedema) in the throat that may be severe enough to block the airway
Swelling of the eyes or face

Not every sign or symptom will be present every time.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition.  It can kill, but it doesn't have to.  The proper medication, administered properly can save lives.  The beauty of epinephrine (the drug in Epi-Pens) is that in most every case it can do no harm. Your body naturally produced epinephrine. The only times it may cause harm is if there is a pre-existing heart condition such that the body cannot withstand a burst of epinephrine.

Please, if you or anyone you know suffers from severe allergies, familiarize yourself with Epi-Pens and the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.  You can save a life.

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