16th August 2017
Yesterday the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) released updated advice for healthcare professionals and people with allergies and their carers on adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) following a review of all devices approved in the EU.
The review recommended
- that healthcare professionals prescribe two AAIs, which patients should carry at all times
- that needle length of the AAI device is now stated in the product information
- that manufacturers update their educational materials to help train people with allergies and their carers how to use their AAI
- that manufacturers should carry out studies in humans to more fully understand when and how much adrenaline reaches the blood stream, and how quickly and effectively it acts on body tissues
The Anaphylaxis Campaign actively campaigns for people to be prescribed two AAIs. We firmly recommend that once prescribed they should always be kept with the patient so they have access to them at all times in case one is broken or misfires, or a second injection is needed before emergency help arrives. We therefore welcome this expression of support from the MHRA that patients should actively be prescribed two AAIs.
If you or your family member has a severe allergy and has been prescribed an AAI we recommend reading the updated patient advice sheet here.
We also advocate for better training for healthcare professionals and patients and their carers to ensure that everyone thoroughly understands how to use their prescribed device.
We provide specialised training for patients, carers and healthcare professionals via our Allergy Wise online courses. Click here for more information about our accredited courses.
5th June 2014
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recently issued revised guidance for the prescribing and use of adrenaline auto-injectors.
In summary: 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.
Anaphylaxis Campaign welcomes this statement from the MHRA. We actively campaign for people to be prescribed two AAIs and firmly recommend that once prescribed they should always be kept with the patient so they have access to them at all times. The reasoning behind two devices always being available is in case one is broken or misfires, or a second injection is needed before emergency help arrives.
We also provide specialised training for patients/carers and healthcare professionals via our AllergyWise online courses.
The MHRA’s advice also includes the following key points;
Advice for people with allergies and their carers:
- 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
- Take the following actions immediately after every use of an adrenaline auto-injector:
– 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.
Advice for healthcare professionals:
- 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 to obtain and practise using a trainer device (available for free from the manufacturers’ websites).