Fri, 22 Jun 2012 7:00p.m.
Around 20,000 New Zealanders have severe allergic reactions, and many are struggling to afford the life-saving medicine they need.
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26/06/2012 1:56:45 a.m.
Adrenaline ampoules does not need to be refrigerated; it needs to be kept out of the sun. There are some medicines which need to be kept in the fridge such as insulin or suxamethonium but adrenaline is not one of them.
There needs to be a bit of conservatism and not dishing out Epipen's to everybody who gets a bit of rash and wheeze. To compound the problem adrenaline is one of those drugs you tend to have a bit of a lower threshold for giving to err on the side of caution; so if somebody receives adrenaline by the well intentioned Paramedics or ED Physician who did not REALLY require it but got it anyway they are now labelled as having a "life threatening allergy" and get counselled by their GP to get an EpiPen and so onwards the cycle goes.
In almost twenty years Paramedic experience, the number of cases attended requiring adrenaline for anaphylaxis: two, that is one per decade. Somehow the rise in people requiring adrenaline for anaphylaxis from the ambo's does not correlate to the rise in people getting prescribed an EpiPen hmmm ....
25/06/2012 8:31:34 p.m.
Kahu Abbot wrote:
I have both epipen & ampules however the ampules & syringe take too long for me to load now. After I am stung I have about 30 seconds to inject & then I'm out. I swell in my throat almost immediately. I last got stung in April this year & I had to quickly hand my epipen to my husband & quickly tell him what he had to do,as I could feel myself pass out. He saved my life.
23/06/2012 11:25:06 p.m.
The biggest issue is that the ampules have to be kept in a fridge, so they're no good if you have to be out for more than a few hours.
I had to learn how to inject myself from an ampule of adrenaline with a syringe at around age 7, to deal with anaphylactic shock from an allergy to Hymenoptera (Bees/wasps etc.).
The thing is, when you're in the middle of dying, it's rather hard to keep calm & get things done, so it normally falls to others to give the injection, & even explaining that it's intramuscular, & not intravenous is hard enough to get across to most people.
It's been years since I've had any protection, with Doctors simply advising me to do my best not to be stung (which I've managed for 20 years).
Epipens should not only be funded, they should also be standard in first aid kits.
23/06/2012 6:18:16 p.m.
cartmell family wrote:
We are a two parent family both who work in nursing/medical professions. It is imossiable for a parent to stay calm enough to draw up correct dose of adrenaline and then adminster same.We have a child who needs epipens and we for go other things to ensure his safety. I child with allergy can be excluded from things by adult fears and having no epipen makes this worse, how can we expect teachers, childminders and parents of our childrens friends to learn to draw up and administer adrenaline- this is a pertrifying thought for people. At least epipen are simple and no error for dosage- safety for all. Epipen are the only option for thses children and adults to live a normal ife.
23/06/2012 11:36:30 a.m.
I can understand that syringe and ampoule is cheaper, but I would think that that would be too difficult for children or teachers at school - therefore epipens should at least be funded for children
23/06/2012 11:18:04 a.m.
I am a registered nurse and carry an epipen. I have on occasion been prescribed adrenaline in glass vials and taken needles and syringes in the event I had an anahylactic reaction, mainly due to the cost of the epipen,a and relatively short shelf life, afterall I am trained to give, and do safely administer drugs to other people this way in my job, but if I was having an anaphylactic reaction I don't know if I could safely break open and draw up the adrenaline to administer to myself, , or expect someone else to if I could not, as suggested by pharmac on the show.
I feel much safer carrying an epipen, which can be purchased much cheaper with a prescription from http://www.allergypharmacy.co.nz/shop/Shop+by+Category/Epipen.html
23/06/2012 10:32:09 a.m.
Pharmac are right, adrenaline auto injectors are over prescribed and over used. Anaphylaxis and "allergy" are not the same thing, adrenaline in anaphylaxis is certainly not over-rated but the unnecessary prescription of adrenaline auto injectors is due to misidentification of an episode of "anaphylaxis". A bit of rash and wheeze is not anaphylaxis, just like nausea or a bit of urticaria is not allergy. Some clinical conservatism would go a long way here.
I do not think it is reasonable to expect lay people to draw up adrenaline, mind you if an Ambulance Community First Responder who has three days of training can do it and probably uses it as rarely as a parent or teacher would why not?
The two part Bristojet screw together syringes that are prefilled are a bit better, then again, some clinical conservatism would be far superior.
23/06/2012 6:12:47 a.m.
Lyn Morrison wrote:
I'm alergic to Aspirin and NSAID's, and have just renewed my auto injector, and was prescribed Anapen. It is $40.00 cheaper than epipen, and last 16 mnths instead of 12. Even so my Dr surgery informs me the ampoules of adrenalin they stock, hves a shelf life of 2 yrs.
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