The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recently issued revised guidance for the prescribing and use of adrenaline auto-injectors.
People who have been prescribed an Adrenaline Auto-Injector (AAI) because of the risk of anaphylaxis should carry two with them at all times for emergency on the spot use. After every use of an adrenaline auto-injector, an ambulance should be called (even if symptoms are improving), the individual should lie down with their legs raised and, if at all possible, should not be left alone.
The MHRA’s advice also includes the following key points;
- Carry two adrenaline auto-injectors at all times. This is particularly important for people who also have allergic asthma as they are at increased risk of a severe anaphylactic reaction
- Use the adrenaline auto-injector at the first signs of a severe allergic reaction
- Call 999, ask for an ambulance and state “anaphylaxis”, even if symptoms are improving.
- Lie flat with the legs raised in order to maintain blood flow. If you have breathing difficulties sit up to make breathing easier.
- Seek help immediately after using the auto-injector and if at all possible stay with the person while waiting for the ambulance.
- If the person does not start to feel better, the second auto-injector should be used 5 to 15 minutes after the first
- Check the expiry date of the adrenaline auto-injectors and obtain replacements before they expire. Expired injectors will be less effective.
- Ensure that people with allergies and their carers have been trained to use the particular auto-injector that they have been prescribed. Injection technique varies between injectors.
- Encourage people with allergies and their carers.