On Monday, September 26, 2016, the Southern Manatee Fire Rescue District deployed Epi-Pen’s (Epinephrine Pens) for both adult and pediatric patients that would suffer from a severe allergic reaction (Anaphylactic shock). A person that has a severe allergy to either food, bee or ant bite, medication allergy, chemical allergy, etc. will develop very suddenly a life-threatening condition called Anaphylactic shock in which they will get severe swelling of their airway (glottic edema), swelling of their face and tongue, bronchospasm (constriction of their bronchi), severe hypotension (low blood pressure) and severe urticarial (rash/hives). This condition occurs rapidly and within a few minutes a person could go into respiratory-cardiac arrest and not survive.
Citizens with this type of allergy normally carries an Epi-Pen and is trained on how to self-administer this medication. However sometimes the allergic reaction is so sudden and severe that a patient may not have the time or be able to deploy their Epi-Pen.
Our medical treatment protocols allows our personnel to carry and administer an Epi-Pen in a severe allergic reaction, to treat the anaphylactic reaction. The Epi-Pen contains .3mg of Epinephrine for adults and .15mg for a child weighing less than 66 pounds. This Epi-Pen is an auto-injector and is administered in the patient’s mid-thigh.
As soon as the Epinephrine is administered into a patient in a severe allergic reaction, the effects are almost immediate, it begins dilating the bronchi, reducing glottic edema and causes vasoconstriction and increases the blood pressure, which improves the patient’s condition almost immediately after the injection.
All personnel have been trained in the allergic reaction protocol and all first out fire apparatus are now carrying both adult and pediatric Epi-Pens.