Within the past few months in my CPR and first aid classes I have had construction workers say they have epinephrine pens because they have severe allergic reactions to bees. What really disturbs me, in one class, one guy said that he told his coworkers where his pen is, and that one bee sting can kill him and his coworkers started making jokes out of it. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis shock. It is VERY serious and could kill someone. THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER. A person with an epinephrine pen (epi pen) has a very serious allergy and needs your help to stay alive when stung by a bee.
Anaphylaxis causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock. Your blood pressure will drop, causing your airway to narrow and block your breathing. The signs of anaphylaxis are rapid, or weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. This is caused by the venom in the sting.
When someone gets stung by a bee, you must call 911 and give the person his epi pen. If you don't have an epi pen, you need to go to an emergency room immediately, by ambulance. If anaphylaxis isn't treated right away, it can be fatal.
The steps in using an epi pen are as followed;
- Call 911.
- Remove the epi pen from the plastic container.
- Take off the safety cap from the epi pen. The cap can be gray or orange.
- Grasp the epi pen with your fist and push the black part into the side of the person’s thigh. It can go right into clothes.
- Write down the time you administered the pen and give it to the paramedics.
- If in 2 to 5 minutes there is not any improvement and 911 is not there, then administer a second pen, if they have one, but in the opposite leg.
Please treat allergic reactions seriously because this could be life or death for a person.