Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wish For the New Year

My New Year's Wish in my role as an allergy safety advocate, is to protect others from injury or death from allergic shock (anaphylaxis). It can take only one to two minutes for a mild reaction to escalate to anaphlaxis. The risk of anaphylaxis is death, or brain damage and organ damage. Death from anaphylaxis can occur within 10 to 15 minutes and is caused by delayed use of medication

The first line and second line medication for anaphylaxis is an EpiPen to deliver life saving epinephrine (see National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Guidelines, December 2010). If an EpiPen is given within the first 1 to 5 minutes of an allergic reaction, the patient has the best chance of survival. Use the EpiPen, then call 911. An EpiPen injection provides relief only for fifteen to twenty minutes. Ten to twenty percent of patients will need more than one dose, so keep a second dose in hand while waiting for paramedics and during transport to hospital.

My mission when I started was to inform people that wearing two EpiPens is the best way to ensure life saving medication is always within reach. This is essential, whether your allergy is to bee or wasp stings, medication, latex, or food. I located the most comfortable and discreet daily wear belt and a waterproof carrying case, and I made the decision to always provide free shipping, so that as many allergic people as possible can afford my safety products.

It's essential that the allergic person and everyone involved in his or her care know how to correctly use an EpiPen. To assist with training, I sell EpiPen Trainers on my site. A recent Health Canada advisory reminds us to pull the blue safety cap straight out (rather than twist it or pull it off to the side), so that the pin doesn't break in the EpiPen and cause it not to fire. I created this free Emergency Protocol & 911 Script Card to use as a reference when training others or to post in a prominent place to instruct caregivers:

I hope that through these product solutions and my daily efforts to provide allergy safety advice on Facebook, Twitter, and through my, I've helped make life safer for people with allergies. That is my New Year's wish come true.

Thanks Elizabeth Goldenberg for sending us her allergy wish this new year, as well as important reminders.

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