AAP: Epinephrine Auto-Injector, Action Plan Crucial for Anaphylaxis Management

Pediatricians suggest all caregivers of of at-risk children have a written action plan
Pediatricians suggest all caregivers of of at-risk children have a written action plan

HealthDay News — All caregivers for children at risk of anaphylaxis should have a written action plan and epinephrine auto-injectors readily available, according to two clinical reports from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published online February 13 in the Pediatrics.

Scott Sicherer, MD, a professor of pediatrics, allergy, and immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, coauthored the new AAP reports. One report stresses that epinephrine auto-injectors –not antihistamines – are the first line treatment for anaphylaxis. 

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The second report highlights the importance of families having written action plans, and includes a two-page form doctors can give to parents. The AAP has devised a comprehensive plan that doctors can easily access online. The AAP action plan provides a list of anaphylaxis symptoms and milder allergy symptoms, and simple instructions on how to respond to each.

"In addition to providing this allergy and anaphylaxis emergency plan, the patient should have updated prescriptions for emergency medications," the authors write. "It is also helpful for the health care provider to review with the patient and/or family members instructions for, and show the proper use of, epinephrine auto-injectors by using a training device that has the same mechanism but does not contain medication or the needle. Patients and family members should be reminded to check expiration dates on their epinephrine auto-injectors and be familiar with proper storage conditions."

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