Allergic reactions occur in the United States every day. In fact, every three minutes someone visits an emergency room due to food allergic reaction. Because we do not all face food allergies on a regular basis, it can be difficult to comprehend the serious nature of these sensitivities. Fortunately, technological advances have led to safety precautions that save lives every day. Epinephrine autoinjectors are one of the most common types of precautions used by those with food allergies.
Epinephrine auto injectors, commonly referred to as epi pens, are typically carried by those who have severe food allergies in case of an allergic reaction. For instance, someone with a severe dairy allergy would carry an epi pen with them at all times. If they inadvertently consumed a food product that contained dairy and began experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction, they would use their epi pen to inject themselves. This provides time to seek emergency assistance to make sure nothing more serious is approaching.
Here are a few safety tips for those with severe food allergies:
- Avoid all known allergies at all costs. Always ask food service workers to change their gloves and use clean utensils before preparing your food, as you can never be too safe.
- Discuss the signs of an allergic reaction with your health care provider. Understanding the early symptoms of an oncoming attack may provide you with the extra time you need to save your life.
- Keep two epi pen auto-injectors on you at all times. Having a backup is important in case the original pen is damaged or lost.
- Should anaphylaxis occur, seek medical attention immediately to ensure your safety.
These tips may seem obvious, but fully understanding the risks associated with anaphylaxis is extremely important for those with allergies and those without.
Earlier this year, a specific epi-pen was voluntarily recalled because the manufacturer believed dosage was off in these pens. Sanofi US recalled their Auvi-Q pens in 0.15 and 0.3 mg strengths. These may have been purchased by consumers, hospitals, or retail companies. Affected pens have March-December 2016 expiration dates and lot numbers 2299596 – 3037230. For more information, call 1-908-989-072.