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Study Shows EpiPen Not Used Enough in Children

Posted On: 07-14-2017
Study Shows EpiPen Not Used Enough in Children
EpiPens are lifesaving tools for patients who are having a severe allergic reaction. However, a new study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology finds that many children do not have this essential treatment handy.

Consisting of epinephrine, an EpiPen device delivers the medication quickly in order to stimulate the heart, improve breathing, reduce swelling, and raise lowered blood pressure.

A team of researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver looked at the medical records of more than 400 children with an average age of 7 years. The children were all treated for anaphylaxis in an Ohio emergency department or urgent care center. The researchers were looking for whether or not an EpiPen was used when symptoms of the allergic reaction began. It was revealed that less than half of children experiencing anaphylaxis received epinephrine before arriving to the hospital.

Approximately two-thirds of the children had a history of anaphylaxis, and nearly half had been prescribed a type of EpiPen device. However, only two-thirds of the children who had been prescribed a type of EpiPen device had theirs available when the allergic reaction occurred.

The study also found that those who experienced an allergic reaction with anaphylaxis symptoms at home were less likely to be treated than those who experienced the symptoms at school.

Early treatment of anaphylaxis has proven to help reduce fatalities and hospitalization. There are many factors that can contribute to not utilizing epinephrine, including delayed recognition of symptoms, lack of access to medical care, and high cost of the device.

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