Are you prepared for the Flu Season – Can you recognise and treat anaphylaxis?
As the flu season arrives, the government is asking that everyone aged over 50 will be offered a flu vaccine, this year’s programme is going to be bigger than ever. We have produced this toolkit of resources for Pharmacists to help support patients who have a severe allergic reaction to their flu vaccine and also ensure patients carrying adrenaline auto-injectors for severe allergies are trained in how to use them correctly.
A Prevention of Future Deaths report into the death of Shante Turay-Thomas from an allergic reaction in 2018 heard how Shante had not been given sufficient training by her GP or Pharmacist on how to use her adrenaline auto-injectors, which had been changed from EpiPen to Emerade. The inquest identified that more awareness and training is needed within primary care when dealing with severe allergies. Read the key learnings here. Read the full report here.
Each resource below will help you manage a patient experiencing anaphylaxis including how to recognise Anaphylaxis, give the correct treatment and access to a range of resources to enhance your understanding and learning about anaphylaxis.
- Click below to download our ‘at a glance’ poster for recognising Anaphylaxis and place it in a prominent position in your pharmacy treatment room.
- Take our FREE AllergyWise for Pharmacists course for detailed information on recognising anaphylaxis
The Green Book Chapter 8 v4.0 states that
‘An anaphylaxis pack normally contains two ampoules of adrenaline (epinephrine) 1:1000, four 23G needles and four graduated 1ml syringes, and Laerdal or equivalent masks suitable for children and adults. Packs should be checked regularly to ensure the contents are within their expiry dates.’
Pharmacist’s should be familiar with the process of drawing up and administering adrenaline in an emergency.
The NPA SOP does not cover all of the actions which must be taken to manage an anaphylactic reaction (for example, you must dial 999). Take the Anaphylaxis Campaign FREE AllergyWise for Pharmacists course for detailed information on recognising and managing anaphylaxis.
Auto-Injectors for Anaphylaxis
The Green Book Chapter 8 v4.0 says that:
‘Auto-injectors for self-administration of adrenaline should not be used as a substitute for a proper anaphylaxis pack. However, if an adrenaline auto-injector is the only available adrenaline preparation when treating anaphylaxis, health care providers should use it.’
There are two brands of adrenaline auto-injectors currently available for the emergency treatment of a severe allergic reaction:
Recent Emerade recalls
All Emerade brand adrenaline auto-injectors have now been recalled from patients due to concerns that some devices required higher than normal force to activate. Recent pharmacokinetic data shows that a Jext or Epipen 300mcg/0.3mg device is an adequate replacement for an Emerade 500mcg.
Find out more here.
Training in the Use of Adrenaline Auto-Injectors
All Pharmacists should know how to use adrenaline auto-injectors (AAI) and be able to offer training to patients. You must regularly keep yourself up to date with how to use them. Key AAI training links can be found on the adrenaline auto-injector brand websites:
Click the link to take the Anaphylaxis Campaign FREE AllergyWise for Pharmacists Online E-Learning Course now. Click below to print the course poster and display in your pharmacy or share with colleagues.