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Reviews > Health & Safety > First Aid Kits > DEY Pharma EpiPen Auto-Injector > Owner Review by Steven M Kidd

EPIPEN (EPINEPHRINE) AUTO-INJECTOR 0.3 M
BY STEVEN M. KIDD
OWNER REVIEW

July 07, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Steven M. Kidd
EMAIL: ftroop94ATgmailDOTcom
AGE: 38
LOCATION: Franklin, Tennessee, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)
SHOE SIZE: 10 1/2 EE (US)

Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last two years I have gained a renewed enthusiasm for the back country. I generally go on one or two night outings and now try to average a 30 lb (14 kg) pack. However, a comfortable riding pack is more important to me than the overall weight I'm carrying.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: DEY Pharma
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.epipen.com/
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1.67 oz (47 g)
Weight in Protection Case: 2.68 oz (76 g)
Other details: Filled by prescription only in U.S.
epi 2
EpiPen in Storage Container

The EpiPen Auto-Injector is a prescription device that delivers an intramuscular 0.3 mg epinephrine dose to a person suffering anaphylaxis (allergic emergencies). This medication reverses a severe allergic reaction, at least temporarily, in order to provide time to seek medical treatment. The injector is suitable for one anaphylactic treatment, and should be discarded properly after use or expiration. The drug works by constricting blood vessels, relaxing muscles to improve breathing, stimulating heartbeat and reducing hives and swelling. The drug's effects typically last ten to twenty minutes and it is administered by self injection into the outer thigh, and keeping the needle depressed for ten seconds.

In the United States this drug can be prescribed by any practicing physician. It can then be filled at most local pharmacies. Any person with a history of mild to severe allergic reactions can typically request a prescription without hesitation from their primary care doctor. The active medication generally remains efficacious for approximately one year. After an EpiPen has expired it should be disposed of properly, and replaced with a new one. If it is ever administered in an emergency situation, the patient or caretaker should take the used injector with them when they receive treatment. This allows medical personnel to know exactly what and how much has been given.

FIELD USE

An EpiPen Auto-Injector has been a mandatory part of my backcountry first aid kit for over a decade, as I have an undiagnosed allergy that leads to anaphylaxis. The few ounces I add to my pack can potentially be the difference between life or death in an emergency allergic situation.
epi 1
Injector next to Storage Container


Speaking from the point of view of both a solo backpacker and a Scout leader, I have been privy to multiple occasions where either I or fellow camper has suffered an allergic reaction. In the majority of cases, the reaction has been localized to one part of the body and can be treated by washing the area and applying a salve or cream. If the reaction has been of a more severe or of a systemic nature I have typically dosed dyphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl) to myself or campmate in need. Suggested dosing for this over-the-counter medication (and another MUST HAVE in my first aid kit) is at a rate of 25 mg per 100 lbs (45 kg) when treating allergies. However, in the very rare life threatening allergic situation I have gone to the last resort and used epinephrine.

In my personal situation, I was camping at Land Between the Lakes near Dover, Tennessee when I suffered a severe allergic reaction. My airways never constricted, but I began to swell and get hives between the digits on my hands and feet and in the groin area. Soon after, my blood vessels began to dilate causing my blood pressure to drop. I first attempted self dosing the aforementioned dyphenhydramine with no success, so I then injected myself with the EpiPen. Within minutes I began to feel the reversal effects and began improving. I was fortunate that this stopped my allergic issues and they did not reappear. A medical professional later prescribed me a steroid, as is often protocol in this situation. It is my understanding that my situation could have been different. When the epinephrine begins to wear off, there can potentially be another reaction. This is why I always seek medical care when I have had an allergic reaction.
epi 3
Self Administration Demonstration



Of the handful of allergic reactions of this nature I have endured, I am fortunate that I have only had one allergic reaction in the backcountry. The condition would never keep me out of the woods, and I hope it wouldn't affect others that enjoy the outdoors. Yet, I strongly consider it an essential piece of backcountry Health & Safety gear. I would even go so far to suggest any group leader proactively carry it for just such a lifesaving situation.

SUMMARY

The EpiPen Auto-Injector is one the most popular delivery systems for epinephrine in emergency situations. It's something I keep in my first aid kit that I hope I will never have to use again. However, in a life threatening allergic situation it is an item I wouldn't be without. I can think of no reason to not have a simple item like this in a gear bag for anyone that has ever had a moderate to severe allergy. Even if I were a minimalist toothbrush handle-cutting backpacker, the weight is so nominal it only makes sense to have it.

EpiPen is but one brand name version of self delivered epinephrine, but the most widely available version in the United States.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Health & Safety > First Aid Kits > DEY Pharma EpiPen Auto-Injector > Owner Review by Steven M Kidd



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