An EpiPen bracelet or EpiPen jewelry is probably the last thing on anybody's mind when dealing with a food, insect sting, medication or other allergy. After all, bracelets, necklaces and anklets may not seem to serve any purpose beyond being decorative. However, when it comes to conditions as allergies and anaphylaxis, being quickly identified as needing an epinephrine auto-injector such as EpiPen is often necessary.
This is why EpiPen bracelets are often worn, not just to inform anyone about the wearer's health status, but to alert people, such as first responders, first-aid staff and medical professionals of the appropriate action to perform when the wearer is involved in an emergency.
EpiPen is an epinephrine auto-injector prescribed for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. There are other brands of epinephrine auto-injectors such as Emerade, Twinject, Adrenaclick,Anapen, Jext, Allerject, and Auvi-Q. You never know when anaphylaxis will occur, so it’s important that you and your loved ones be careful to avoid allergens when possible.
The Importance of EpiPen Identification
When people with allergies were first encouraged to wear EpiPen bracelets, some people were not very supportive of getting "tagged" as an having allergies or being at risk for anaphylaxis. However, the fact that the bracelets were medical alert tags and could help in an emergency showed why it was a necessity.
It is important that those suffering from allergies and prescribed EpiPen are properly identified with a medical bracelet in case of an emergency. Because EpiPen contains epinephrine, side effects may include an increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, and more. While these side effects usually go away quickly, it is helpful to emergency responders to know that these reactions are due to EpiPen use and not a heart condition.
An EpiPen medical bracelet will alert medical professionals to the type of allergies, and the fact that the patient has or needs epinephrine. Information regarding a patient's primary doctor may also be included on the EpiPen ID bracelet.
EpiPen patients require special medical care and attention. In an emergency they may not always be able to speak or communicate. He or she may even be completely unresponsive. Furthermore, an emergency may occur when a relative or a friend who has knowledge about the person’s medications may not be around. In these cases, an EpiPen bracelet can silently inform the attending medical personnel of the medication and underlying condition.
Preparing for an Emergency
EpiPen increases your risk of increased heart rate, which can be dangerous if you also have other medical conditions such as asthma, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In case the unthinkable happens, you should always wear an EpiPen bracelet. It should list important information such as allergies, all medications taking on an ongoing basis, and an emergency contact. It can be useful to include your name in a situation where you may not be able to talk. Having an EpiPen bracelet will let the medical staff know how to make the appropriate medical decisions that can save your life. In case you’re in an accident, medical professionals will know what your likely medications are and what not to give you.
Always ensure that you or your loved one is wearing an EpiPen bracelet at all times and especially before leaving the house. If necessary, pack an extra bracelet during special trips, particularly if you will be travelling alone or leaving town for an extended period. Always wear the bracelet where it can be spotted easily and avoid taking it off. There are new styles to fit your personality and wearing it can mean the difference between living a healthy life and suffering serious medical consequences.