As a First Aid Trainer you should be aware that the guidelines on EpiPen use have recently changed. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved changes to the way adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors are used.

 The devices have not changed; however, the instructions on the EpiPen® and EpiPen®Jr label now read: 

Place orange end against outer mid-thigh and push firmly into thigh so it ‘clicks’. HOLD on thigh for approximately 3 seconds to stimulate drug delivery.

EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors with the 3 second label will start to enter pharmacies in Australia from 13 June 2017 onwards. 

However, EpiPen®s with old labels (instructing holding for 10 seconds) can continue to be used and should not be replaced unless they have been injected, are just about to expire, or have expired.

All EpiPen®s should now be held in place for 3 seconds, regardless of the instructions on the label. However, holding for 10 seconds will not affect the way that the adrenaline works.

This change has come about after research confirmed that the adrenaline can be fully delivered in 3 seconds.

Please note also the removal of the massage step after the injection – this has been found to reduce the risk of irritation at the injection site.

You can view updated videos about the changes on the Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website.

Three steps - how to use the EpiPen®:  

  1. Form a fist around EpiPen and Pull off the blue safety release
  2. Hold leg still and place the orange end against the outer mid-thigh (with or without clothing)
  3. Push down hard until a click is heard or felt and hold in place for 3 seconds. Remove the EpiPen

Remember – it is important to hold the patient’s leg firmly and limit movement prior to and during administration of adrenaline from an auto-injector.

Note that the holding period for the auto-injector has changed

If you are a First Aid Trainer looking to start up your own business, have a partnership with another RTO and want to see what we can offer, or are an organisaiton looking to deliver first aid training in-house to save on your training budgets please get in touch with our partnerships team.

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