Overwhelming Majority Misuse Inhalers & EpiPens

A new study conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and published Thursday suggests many people do not know how to properly use EpiPens or inhalers correctly. Researchers observed 102 patients with EpiPens (formally referred to as epinephrine pens) and 44 patients with inhalers as they demonstrated how to use the devices. The majority of patients were unable to use the device properly to the extent that they were unable to receive the medication. Reportedly, 16 percent knew how to properly inject the EpiPen, while only 7 percent used an inhaler correctly.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Rana Bonds, says,

Our study suggests that either people weren’t properly trained in how to use these devices, didn’t completely understand the instructions even after training, or forgot the instructions over time… Younger patients and those with prior medical education were more likely to use the auto-injector correctly.”

Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, can be stopped by the  injection of ephinephrine. Similarly, Asthma inhalers can be used to stop asthma attacks from occurring. In the case of the study, the misuse of the response devices resulted in too little medication being used and the patient not being treated properly. Additionally, it is possible for too much medicine to be used.

It is especially important patients be trained and retrained to understand how to use emergency devices such as inhalres and EpiPens. During an emergency, one is even more likely to panic and forget how to properly use the device.

Dr. Roger Emert, allergist at New York University Langone Medical Center says,

You’re not thinking clearly… Sometimes, that’s a medical result of the condition.”

Make sure you know how to use an inhaler and/or EpiPen to prepare for emergencies. For more information, on emergency devices, click here. To ensure you fully understand these devices, talk to your doctor.


Read more here- “Many People Misuse Devices for Asthma, Allergic Reaction,” (Serena Gordon, HealthDay)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.


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