Anaphylaxis Checklist for Patients
1. Prescribed adrenaline (epinephrine) injectors
- Check that your prescribed adrenaline injector/s (e.g. EpiPen®) dose is appropriate: 150 microgram devices for children weighing 7.5 to 20kg and 300 microgram devices for children weighing over 20kg and adults, including pregnant women.
- Two adrenaline injectors for children or adults are rebated by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in Australia. No devices are currently rebated by Pharmac in New Zealand.
- If additional adrenaline injector/s are required, these can be purchased from pharmacies, and are not rebated by PBS or Pharmac.
- Check and note the expiry date of the injector/s you purchase.
- Ensure that an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (RED) has been completed by your doctor or nurse practitioner (available online at www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/ascia-action-plan-for-anaphylaxis).
- Remember to always carry an adrenaline injector and ASCIA Action Plan.
- Store adrenaline injectors away from excessive heat or cooling. For information go to www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/adrenaline-autoinjector-storage-expiry-and-disposal
- Check adrenaline injector updates at www.allergy.org.au/members/adrenaline-autoinjector-availability
2. Anaphylaxis and adrenaline injector education and training
- It is important to understand that adrenaline is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis and that antihistamines should not be used for the treatment for anaphylaxis. If antihistamines are used to treat mild to moderate allergic reactions, only non-sedating antihistamines should be used.
- Complete free ASCIA online anaphylaxis training for community at https://anaphylaxis.ascia.org.au to learn how to recognise signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, how to give an adrenaline injector and to know that you need to phone an ambulance immediately afterwards.
- Ensure that you know how to use an adrenaline injector/s using a trainer device. Trainer devices are available from the supplier or patient support organisations.
- For further information and support consider joining a patient support organisation (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia or www.allergyfacts.org.au or Allergy New Zealand www.allergy.org.nz).
3. Other issues to consider
- Check that your asthma is well managed and see your doctor or nurse practitioner if further action is required. If you are at risk of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and have asthma that is not well controlled, you are at increased risk of fatal anaphylaxis.
- Translated information is available at www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis#ta5 which includes the ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis, adrenaline injector instructions and general information about anaphylaxis.
- If you have left an adrenaline injector at school, early childhood education/care or office, ensure that you collect the device before you leave for an extended time (e.g. during school holidays or if you are working from home).
© ASCIA 2020
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Content updated August 2020