How to Self-Administer an Adrenaline Auto-Injector?

If you have severe allergies, you likely have an adrenaline auto-injector. Having an adrenaline auto-injector does not necessarily mean you know how to use it the first time without basic knowledge of what it is and what it does.

Read along and find out how to self-administer an adrenaline auto-injector and why it is helpful for people with severe allergic reactions.

What is an adrenaline auto-injector?

An epinephrine autoinjector (or adrenaline autoinjector, also known by the trademark EpiPen) is a medical device for injecting a measured dose or doses of epinephrine (adrenaline) through autoinjector technology. It is most often used for the treatment of anaphylaxis.

These are authorised for the emergency treatment of severe acute allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) triggered by allergens in foods, medicines, insect stings or bites, and other allergens, as well as for exercise-induced or idiopathic anaphylaxis.

Who uses an adrenaline auto-injector?

Not everyone can have an adrenaline auto-injector. You must see a physician if you are concerned about symptoms or reactions. They will evaluate you, determine your risk for a severe allergic reaction and prescribe an adrenaline auto-injector.​​

Medical providers can prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector for a child or an adult at risk of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Auto-injectors may be kept on hand for self-injection by someone with a history of severe allergic reactions.

How do you self-administer an adrenaline auto-injector

Follow these steps to administer an adrenaline auto-injector correctly:

  • Take the adrenaline auto-injector out of its package
  • Remove the blue safety cap
  • Hold the auto-injector in your fist. The needle comes out of the orange end, so be careful not to hold your hand over the end.
  • Push the end with the needle firmly against the side of the thigh. Inject the medicine into the fleshy outer portion of the thigh. Do not inject into a vein or the buttocks.
  • You can give the injection through clothes or on bare skin.
  • Hold the auto-injector until all the medicine is injected - usually no more than 3 seconds.
  • Remove the needle by pulling the pen straight out. A protective shield will cover the needle as soon as it is removed from the thigh. Put the injector back into its safety tube. Give it to EMS when they arrive.
  • Massage the area after the injection.​

Watch this video demonstration and watch how to self-administer an adrenaline auto-injector.

What happens if I accidentally inject myself with an adrenaline auto-injector?

An accidental intravenous injection (which is very rare and would be pretty difficult to do on accident) is hazardous and can lead to hypertension and/or heart problems.

Most accidental injections (an estimated 94%) occur when a patient or someone trying to help them accidentally jabs their finger or thumb. An accidental injection to the hands or feet can impair blood flow to these areas and can potentially cause tissue death. This, however, is the worst-case scenario.

Symptoms of an accidental injection are not usually so severe and may include:

  • Temporary numbness or tingling
  • Pain and swelling at the injection site
  • Elevated heart rate and/or heart palpations.

Regardless, you should always seek medical attention in the event of an accidental injection; it’s better safe than sorry!

Where should adrenaline auto-injectors be kept?

Adrenaline auto-injectors should be stored:

  • In a cool dark place at room temperature, between 15-25°C, but not refrigerated, temperatures below 15°C may damage the injector mechanism.
  • Where they are readily available and not in a locked cupboard.
  • In an insulated wallet, if a person is carrying a device outside for an extended time in the heat (such as hiking or at the beach).

If adrenaline autoinjectors are stored with asthma inhalers (reliever or preventer puffer) in a person's first aid kit, they should not be separated.

Where can I find online training course on how to self-administer an adrenaline auto-injector? 

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited self-administer an adrenaline auto-Injector training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us your more about on how to self-administer an adrenaline auto-Injector.

Online adrenaline auto-injector training courses, qualifications and programmes

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Frequently asked questions and answers about how to self-administer an adrenaline auto-injector

Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many questions about the adrenaline auto-Injector training courses. We have selected a few of these questions and answered them below.

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Awareness of Allergies and Intolerances - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

How to Self-Administer an Adrenaline Auto-Injector? - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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