Archive for the ‘Provide CPR’ category

Northern Beaches First Aid and CPR Course

November 19th, 2018

First Aid and CPR Training courses located on the Northern Beaches. Simple Instruction conducts HLTAID003 Provide First Aid, HLTAID001 Provide CPR and HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting (childcare first aid) training courses at the Dee Why RSL which is the centre of the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Accredited and nationally recognised training courses with certification are our speciality and our Northern Beaches community has responded with 5 star Google reviews and positive feedback from all our training courses. Travelling from Mona Vale or even from the Sydney CBD is easy on the B Line with many people coming from all over Sydney. Many people travel from Manly, Brookvale, Belrose, Balgowlah, Narrabeen, Cammeray, North Sydney, Mosman, Seaforth and from all over the Northern Beaches and North Shore with easy parking at the Dee Why RSL.

Book online now for the easiest, cheapest and best First Aid and CPR experience. Apply your first aid knoweldge. www.simpleinstruction.com.au

All courses are conducted under the auspices of Allens Training RTO 90909

Certificate III in Childcare – HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting

October 23rd, 2018

Providing First Aid and CPR certificates for the childcare industry on the Northern Beaches is our pleasure. The HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting is for Certificate III students to complete their Childcare course. Book in online today to secure your spot in a first aid or CPR course at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches.

Food allergy occurs in around 1 in 20 children and in about 2 in 100 adults. The most common triggers are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat. The majority of food allergies in children are not severe, and may be ‘outgrown’ with time. However, peanut, tree nut, seed and seafood allergies are less likely to be outgrown and tend to be lifelong allergies. Some food allergies can be severe, causing life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis.

What is allergy?
An allergy is when the immune system reacts to a substance (allergen) in the environment which is usually harmless (e.g. food, pollen, animal dander and dust mite) or bites, stings and medications. This results in the production of allergy antibodies which are proteins in the immune system which identify and react with foreign substances.

An allergic reaction is when someone develops symptoms following exposure to an allergen, such as hives, swelling of the lips, eyes or face, vomiting or wheeze. It is important to note that only some people with allergy antibodies will develop symptoms following exposure to the allergen, hence confirmation of allergy by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist is required.

Allergic reactions range from mild to severe. Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction.

Symptoms of food allergy
Mild to moderate symptoms of food allergy include:

Swelling of face, lips and/or eyes
Hives or welts on the skin
Abdominal pain, vomiting
Signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to foods include:

Difficult/noisy breathing
Swelling of tongue
Swelling/tightness in throat
Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
Wheeze or persistent cough
Persistent dizziness and/or collapse
Pale and floppy (in young children)
Food allergy can sometimes be dangerous
Although Mild, moderate and even severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to foods are common in Australia and New Zealand. However, deaths from anaphylaxis due to food allergy are rare in Australia and New Zealand. Most deaths can be prevented by careful allergen avoidance measures and immediate administration of an adrenaline autoinjector.

The most common foods causing life-threatening anaphylaxis are peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk and egg. Symptoms of anaphylaxis affect our breathing and/or our heart.

Sometimes food allergy may be less obvious
Less common symptoms of food allergy include infantile colic, reflux of stomach contents, eczema, chronic diarrhoea and failure to thrive in infants.

Not all adverse reactions to foods are due to allergy
The term allergy is often misused to describe any adverse reaction to foods which results in annoying (but ultimately harmless) symptoms such as headaches after overindulging in chocolate or red wine, or bloating after drinking a milkshake or eating too much pasta. While these reactions are not allergic, the result is a widespread impression that all adverse reactions to foods are trivial.

Adverse reactions to foods that are not allergy include food intolerances, toxic reactions, food poisoning, enzyme deficiencies, food aversion or irritation from skin contact with certain foods. These adverse reactions are often mistaken for food allergy.

How common is food allergy and is it increasing?
Studies have shown that food allergy affects 10% of children up to 1 year of age; between 4-8% of children aged up to 5 years of age and approximately 2% of adults.

Hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have doubled over the last decade in Australia, USA and UK. In Australia, admissions for anaphylaxis due to food allergy in children aged 0 to 4 years are even higher, having increased five-fold over the same period.

Why the rise in food allergy?
We currently do not have clear information as to why food allergy seems to have increased so rapidly in recent years, particularly in young children. This area requires additional research studies, several of which are already underway.

Proposed explanations (which have not yet been proven in studies) include:

Hygiene hypothesis, which proposes that less exposure to infections in early childhood, is associated with an increased risk of allergy. A more recent version of the hygiene hypothesis proposes that the make-up and type of the micro-organisms to which the mother, baby and infant is exposed and colonised with may alter allergic risk.
Delayed introduction of allergenic foods such as egg, peanut or tree nuts.
Methods of food processing, such as roasted versus boiled peanuts.
Development of allergy to food by skin exposure such as the use of unrefined nut oil based moisturisers.
These areas require additional research studies, several of which are underway.

Allergies to cow’s milk, eggs and peanuts are the most common in children
Nine foods cause 90% of food allergic reactions, including cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat. Peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, sesame and egg are the most common food allergens in older children and adults. Other triggers such as herbal medicines, fruits and vegetables have been described and almost any food can cause an allergic reaction.

When does food allergy develop?
Food allergy can develop at any age, but is most common in young children aged less than 5 years. Even young babies can develop symptoms of food allergy.

Reliable diagnosis of food allergy is important
Your doctor will normally ask a series of questions that may help to narrow down the list of likely causes such as foods or medicines consumed that day, or exposure to stinging insects. This approach will also help to exclude conditions that can sometimes be confused with food allergy and anaphylaxis.
Skin prick allergy tests or allergy blood tests help to confirm or exclude potential triggers. Sometimes a temporary elimination diet under close medical and dietetic supervision will be needed, followed by food challenges to identify the cause. Long term unsupervised restricted diets should not be undertaken, as this can lead to malnutrition and other complications such as food aversion.

While the results of allergy testing are a useful guide in determining whether the person is allergic, they do not provide a reliable guide to whether the reaction will be mild or severe. Information on allergy tests is available on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing/allergy-testing

Food allergy does not run in the family
Most of the time, children with food allergy do not have parents with food allergy. However, if a family has one child with food allergy, their brothers and sisters are at a slightly higher risk of having food allergy themselves, although that risk is still relatively low.

Some parents want to have their other children screened for food allergy. If the test is negative, that may be reassuring, but does not mean that the other child will never develop an allergy in the future. If their screening test is positive, it is not always clear whether it definitely represents allergy. In this situation, a food challenge (under medical supervision) may be required to confirm the allergy.

A positive allergy test is not the same as being food allergic
It is important to know that a positive skin prick allergy test or allergy blood test means that the body’s immune system has produced a response to a food, but sometimes these are false positives. In other words, the test may be positive yet the person can actually eat the food without any symptoms. For this reason, it is important to confirm the significance of a positive allergy test (in some circumstances) with a supervised food challenge. In a child with a positive test of uncertain meaning, this is often done around school entry age under medical supervision. Interpretation of test results (and whether challenge should be undertaken) should be discussed with your doctor.

Unorthodox so called allergy tests are unproven
There are several methods of unorthodox so called tests for food allergy. Examples include cytotoxic food testing, Vega testing, kinesiology, allergy elimination techniques, iridology, pulse testing, Alcat testing, Rinkel’s intradermal skin testing, reflexology, hair analysis and IgG food antibody testing. These have no scientific basis, are unreliable and have no useful role in the assessment of allergy. These techniques have not been shown to be reliable or reproducible when subjected to formal study. ASCIA advises against the use of these tests for diagnosis or to guide medical treatment. No Medicare rebate is available in Australia for these tests, and their use is also not supported in New Zealand.

Adverse consequences may also arise from unorthodox testing and treatments. Treatment based on inaccurate, false positive or clinically irrelevant results is not only misleading, but can lead to ineffective and at times expensive treatments, and delay more effective therapy. Sometimes harmful therapy may result, such as unnecessary dietary avoidance and risk of malnutrition, particularly in children. Information on these methods is available on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing/unorthodox-testing-and-treatment

Most children grow out of their food allergy
Most children allergic to cow’s milk, soy, wheat or egg will ‘outgrow’ their food allergy. By contrast, allergic reactions to peanut, tree nuts, sesame and seafood persist in the majority (~ 75%) of children affected. When food allergy develops for the first time in adults, it usually persists.

Allergic reactions may be mild, moderate or severe, and can be influenced by a number of factors
These factors include:

the severity of the allergy
the amount eaten
the form of the food (liquid may sometimes be absorbed faster)
whether it is eaten on its own or mixed in with other foods
exercise around the same time as the meal, as this may worsen severity
whether the food is cooked, as cooked food is sometimes better tolerated
the presence or absence of asthma
menstrual cycle in females
intake of alcohol
Can food allergies be prevented?
Information about allergy prevention is available on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention

Research into food allergy is ongoing
The increased frequency of food allergy is driving research into areas such as prevention, treatment and why it has become more common. Current areas of research include allergen immunotherapy (also referred to as desensitisation) to switch off the allergy once it has developed. Initial results are encouraging but it is not yet ready for routine clinical use. Research continues to explore new ways of more effectively treating this condition.

ASCIA Action Plans are essential
Many people with food allergies will have an accidental exposure every few years, even when they are very careful to avoid the foods they are allergic to. The difficulties of avoiding some foods completely make it essential to have an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis if an adrenaline autoinjector has been prescribed.

For those who are not thought to be at high risk of anaphylaxis and therefore have not been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector, an ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions should be completed and provided by your medical doctor. ASCIA Action Plans must be completed by a doctor and are available from the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis-resources/ascia-action-plan-for-anaphylaxis

Living with your food allergy
As there is currently no cure for food allergy, strict avoidance is essential in the management of food allergy. It is important for individuals with food allergy to:

Carry their adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector (if prescribed) and ASCIA Action Plan with them at all times;
Know the signs and symptoms of mild to moderate and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and what to do when a reaction occurs;
Read and understand food labels for food allergy;
Tell wait staff that they have a food allergy when eating out;
Be aware of cross contamination of food allergens when preparing food.
Food allergy can be effectively managed
The good news is that people with food allergy can learn to live with their condition with the guidance of their clinical immunology/allergy specialist and a network of supportive contacts. Having an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and adrenaline autoinjector offers reassurance, but this is not a substitute for strategies to minimise the risk of exposure.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (www.allergyfacts.org.au/) and Allergy New Zealand (www.allergy.org.nz) are community support organisations that offer valuable updates and tips for living with food allergies.

Further information on food allergy and anaphylaxis is provided on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy
www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis-resources

First Aid Certificate required in the industry. HLTAID004, HLTAID003, HLTAID001 available

October 6th, 2018

First Aid certificates are required in all Northern Beaches workplaces. Are you covered by insurance? Have your employees updated their CPR training and certificates?

Simple Instruction offers accredited HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and Provide CPR HLTAID001 training courses at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Book in to update your training certificate and qualifications in October and November.

The 4 Workplace First Aid statistics that you need
to know
1. Only 13% of employers are compliant with the First Aid national code of practice
(This code of practice requires employers to implement training for first aiders, first aid procedures and have
sufficient first aid kits and signage)
2. Over 65% of employers are unaware of their obligations under the First Aid code of practice
3. Only 31% of Australian workers feel confident in how to response to a workplace first aid emergency
4. Less than 50% of workplaces offer First Aid training to their employees
The statistics above paint a picture that illustrates Australian workplaces aren’t adequately prepared for First Aid emergencies
in the workplace. Further the majority of Australian employers are unaware of their requirements under the national code
of practice.
First Aid training is one of the best control measures to ensure that your workplace is adequately prepared for first aid
emergencies that may occur at work. First Aid training must be relevant to the industry and workplace to ensure that it is well
accepted by all course participants.
Our First Aid research found that:
• Employers should ensure an accurate first aid training register is maintained and regularly reviewed to ensure
compliance with the code of practice
• The majority of workplaces are ill prepared to effectively deal with an incident at work
• First Aid training improves the confidence of workers to respond to an on-site First Aid emergency
If you want to substantially reduce the risk of your workers not knowing what to do during a First Aid emergency, you should
consider a 4 point approach to First Aid safety and compliance:
1. Offer first aid training to all interested staff and ensure that adequate numbers of people are trained to act as First
Aiders and a First Aid register is kept up to date
2. First Aid response procedures are written and kept up to date as a protection for First Aiders at work and as protection
for the employer
3. Adequate First Aid kits and signage is in place according with the code of practise
4. Regular emergency response drills should be conducted to ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality
Summary:
This paper is an educational tool to give you the knowledge and skills to decide on the most appropriate First Aid safety
measures for your workplace. I hope you read this document and this helps you in making an informed decision to reduce
the likelihood of workers not knowing how to respond to a First Aid incident your workplace. We wish you the very best with
your workplace safety and we hope that this tool helps you to understand some of the research from within this field.

All courses through Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909. Find us online www.simpleinstruction.com.au

First Aid and CPR certification

September 16th, 2018

First Aid and CPR certificates must be current at all times in order for your Exercise Professional Registration with Fitness Australia to remain valid. Your insurance may also be invalid if your first aid or CPR certificates expire.

First Aid and CPR certification (combined) should include the unit of competency:

Provide First Aid HLTAID003 (also known as Senior First Aid, Workplace Level 2 or Apply First Aid).

The unit HLTAID001 is required for the CPR update.

An Australian First Aid certification is valid for 3 years and CPR is valid for 12 months.

AusREPs must ensure compliance with relevant legislative requirements in relation to first aid, including State/Territory requirements for currency.

Simple Instruction is your local Northern Beaches First Aid and CPR Provider offering HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and HLTAID001 CPR training courses at the Dee Why RSL.

First Aid Kit and First Aid Course

September 7th, 2018

As well as knowing some basic first aid techniques, it is important that households and workplaces have a first aid kit that meets their needs and is well organised, fully stocked and readily available at all times.

The contents should be appropriate to cope with a range of emergency situations, depending on the setting. It’s a good idea to have a number of kits handy in different places, such as in the home, car or office.

First aid kits are available for purchase from a variety of providers, including Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909 or your local pharmacy. Specialty kits are also available to meet specific needs.

Simple Instruction is your local Northern Beaches First Aid and CPR training provider. We conduct accredited training courses out of the Dee Why RSL (DYRSL) which are very popular. Centrally located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney the training courses are the HLTAID003 Provide First Aid Course, HLKTAID001 Provide CPR and HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting.

Please book with www.simpleinstruction.com.au or www.northshorefirstaid.com.au

First Aid Techniques – HLTAID003 Provide First Aid

August 26th, 2018

Learning basic first aid techniques can help you cope with an emergency. You may be able to keep a person breathing, reduce their pain or minimise the consequences of injury or sudden illness until an ambulance arrives. This could mean the difference between life and death for them.

It is a good idea to take a first aid course so that you can recognise an emergency and give basic first aid until professional help arrives.
Learn the first aid method of DRSABCD
First aid is as easy as ABC – airway, breathing and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). In any situation, apply the DRSABCD Action Plan.

DRSABCD stands for:
Danger – always check the danger to you, any bystanders and then the injured or ill person. Make sure you do not put yourself in danger when going to the assistance of another person.
Response – is the person conscious? Do they respond when you talk to them, touch their hands or squeeze their shoulder?
Send for help – call triple zero (000). Don’t forget to answer the questions asked by the operator.
Airway – Is the person’s airway clear? Is the person breathing?
If the person is responding, they are conscious and their airway is clear, assess how you can help them with any injury.
If the person is not responding and they are unconscious, you need to check their airway by opening their mouth and having a look inside. If their mouth is clear, tilt their head gently back (by lifting their chin) and check for breathing. If the mouth is not clear, place the person on their side, open their mouth and clear the contents, then tilt the head back and check for breathing.
Breathing – check for breathing by looking for chest movements (up and down). Listen by putting your ear near to their mouth and nose. Feel for breathing by putting your hand on the lower part of their chest. If the person is unconscious but breathing, turn them onto their side, carefully ensuring that you keep their head, neck and spine in alignment. Monitor their breathing until you hand over to the ambulance officers.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) – if an adult is unconscious and not breathing, make sure they are flat on their back and then place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest and your other hand on top. Press down firmly and smoothly (compressing to one third of their chest depth) 30 times. Give two breaths. To get the breath in, tilt their head back gently by lifting their chin. Pinch their nostrils closed, place your open mouth firmly over their open mouth and blow firmly into their mouth. Keep going with the 30 compressions and two breaths at the speed of approximately five repeats in two minutes until you hand over to the ambulance officers or another trained person, or until the person you are resuscitating responds. The method for CPR for children under eight and babies is very similar and you can learn these skills in a CPR course.
Defibrillator – for unconscious adults who are not breathing, apply an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. They are available in many public places, clubs and organisations. An AED is a machine that delivers an electrical shock to cancel any irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), in an effort get the normal heart beating to re-establish itself. The devices are very simple to operate. Just follow the instructions and pictures on the machine, and on the package of the pads, as well as the voice prompts. If the person responds to defibrillation, turn them onto their side and tilt their head to maintain their airway. Some AEDs may not be suitable for children.

Book a first aid or CPR course with Simple Instruction on the Northern Beaches with courses conducted at the Dee Why RSL. HLTAID003 Provide first aid is our most popular first aid course and the HLTAID004 Child Care first aid course for anyone in the child care industry under ACECQA. The HLTAID001 Provide CPR is a great refresher training course for those looking top update their skills.All courses are conducted under the auspices of Allen’s Training RTO 90909 and the accredited and preferred supplier on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. All training course participants will receive a free manual, free chart and free CPR face shield.

CPR Training Courses on the Northern Beaches

July 23rd, 2018

Book online for a Provide CPR HLTAID001 or Provide First Aid HLTAID003 Training Course conducted at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. All courses are conducted under the Auspices of Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909.

If someone dropped to the ground beside you, would you know how to do CPR?

Jarrod MacDonald, 22, saved the life of his uncle Laurence Crawley last month after he dropped to the ground in cardiac arrest during a touch footy game at Brendale, north of Brisbane.

Mr MacDonald had done a CPR course just three days before and jumped into action, immediately starting CPR.

Luckily for the 49-year-old father-of-four the referee of the game just happened to be off-duty paramedic Leonie Van der Meer.

Ms Van der Meer spoke to her ambulance colleagues as Mr MacDonald continued compressions.

Paramedic Matthew Davis said he was immediately impressed by Mr MacDonald’s efforts upon arriving at the scene.

“I would struggle to find a paramedic that would have done a better job,” Mr Davis said.

Cheaper than St John’s, online course work, free manual, free CPR mask, free CPR chart

July 16th, 2018

Simple Instruction is based in Sydney’s Northern region (North Shore and Northern Beaches) but is willing to travel all over Sydney to complete nationally accredited training courses. We provide public training courses at The Dee Why RSL and are more than happy to come to your workplace, home, child care facility etc.

Provide First Aid HLTAID003 is a comprehensive course that will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to help an ill or injured person until emergency help arrives. You will learn the DRSABCD action plan as well as Provide Cardiopulmonary resuscitation HLTAID001 (Including defibrillation), asthma, anaphylaxis and the management of various injuries and illnesses. Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting HLTAID004 is required by ACECQA for anyone working with children including those completing their certificate 3 at TAFE in child services.

The First Aid training course has essential free online pre-work to be completed before you attend the course. Payment is easy and cheap. All course bookings receive a free manual, free CPR face shield, free CPR chart and a Dee Why RSL pen.

All courses are conducted under the auspices of Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909 and are Nationally recognised and accredited.

First Aid Course – Northern Beaches. Do you know what to do?

July 15th, 2018

First Aid and CPR training on the Northern Beaches has never been so Simple! Do you know what to do in an emergency? Can you help a loved one? Do you know how to do CPR or use a defibrillator?

Book now with Simple Instruction for the HLTAID001 Provide CPR. HLTAID003 Provide First Aid or HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting. We conduct all public courses at the Dee Why RSL and will also do private courses throughout Sydney. All Accredited training courses are nationally recognised and conducted under the auspices of Allens Training RTO 90909.

People are dying of cardiac arrest because the majority of the public have no idea how to use a defibrillator, St John Ambulance has said.

Most people in the UK do not have the knowledge to respond if someone’s heart stops beating, a survey by the charity found.

Nearly two-thirds admitted they would not know what to do if faced with a cardiac arrest and seven out of 10 people said they would not feel confident using a defibrillator, according to the YouGov poll.

Defibrillator
Defibrillators are increasingly common in public places CREDIT: TELEGRAPH
The first aid charity warned that lives were being put at risk as it launched its campaign to educate the public how to deal with a cardiac arrest.

More than half of people do not know where their nearest life-saving equipment is and 62 per cent wrongly believe a defibrillator would cause harm to a patient, the survey also found.

But up to seven out of 10 people who suffer a cardiac arrest could survive if they are treated with a defibrillator within the first five minutes, St John Ambulance said.

None of us want to find ourselves in a situation where we couldn’t save a loved one’s life
James Radford, director of St John Ambulance
The charity urged people to find their closest defibrillator, be ready to spot the signs of cardiac arrest, know how to perform CPR and remember that early defibrillation gives the best chance of survival – grouped under the acronym C.A.R.E.

James Radford, director of St John Ambulance, said its research showed Britain has “a long way to go” in educating the public.

He said: “None of us want to find ourselves in a situation where we couldn’t save a loved one’s life, any more than we’d want them to stand by helpless if we suffered a cardiac arrest.

“That’s why we are urging everybody to learn the four simple steps of C.A.R.E today; so that if the worst happens tomorrow, we can all act quickly and confidently, especially when every second counts.”

Defibrillators are increasingly available in busy public spaces.

Earlier this year a study in Sweden found defibrillator-carrying drones could dramatically boost survival after a trial showed they could reach patients four times faster than an ambulance.

Asthma and Anaphylaxis Course – HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting

June 11th, 2018

Northern Beaches HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting training course is available at the Dee Why RSL weekly. This course is ideal for Child Care workers and anyone in the child services industry. Simple Instruction offers online easy of use training before sitting the course. Please contact our team for HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and HLTAID001 Provide CPR certified and Nationally Recognised Training courses.

Who uses an EpiPen?
EpiPens are first aid treatment for anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening allergic reaction that affects a person’s breathing and blood pressure.

EpiPens deliver a single shot of adrenaline to reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Allergy sufferers who experience an anaphylactic allergic reaction need to call an ambulance immediately and go to hospital, both for further treatment and to be under observation for at least four hours.

Why is there a shortage?
Australian supplier Mylan says the US manufacturer Pfizer is responsible for the supply shortage. Pfizer puts the delay down to a problem with the autoinjector’s components – one that’s caused production delays for months.

Pfizer tells CHOICE the shortage has to do with a third-party component, as well as changes made to its manufacturing facility. “At this time, we cannot commit to a specific time for when the supply constraint will be fully resolved,” a spokesperson says.

The company is advising people to fill their prescriptions closer to expiration dates to help them manage EpiPen supply over the next few months.

What happens if I have an attack?
If you don’t have an EpiPen on hand, immediately call 000 – or better yet, have someone with you make the call.

Follow your ASCIA action plan that you’ve developed with your doctor, and either sit or lay down on the ground with your feet outstretched in front of you. Don’t stand up or sit on a chair, as this could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.

If you’re having a severe allergic reaction, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia recommends that you follow your ASCIA action plan:

sit or lie down on the ground
use the EpiPen on your outer mid-thigh
call for an ambulance
(if the symptoms persist and it’s needed) take a second EpiPen five minutes after the first.
You’ll need to go to hospital for further treatment and remain under observation for at least four hours.

Can I use an expired EpiPen?
Most allergy sufferers will have an EpiPen on hand, even if it’s an expired one.

EpiPens have a one- to two-year shelf life before they expire. It’s not ideal, but consumer allergy groups and pharmacists recommend people use their expired EpiPens if necessary during the shortage.

These adrenaline autoinjectors do become less effective over time, but the consensus is an expired EpiPen is better than not having one to use at the time of an attack.

If all of your EpiPens have expired, use the most recent one. Be sure to check the expiration date on the EpiPen itself and not on the box as they may differ.

You can gauge the quality of an EpiPen by checking the clear window near its tip. The adrenaline should be transparent – free from sediment and discolouration – for it to be most effective.

How long do I have to wait for a replacement EpiPen?
After leaving your prescription with a pharmacist, it takes between a couple of days to two weeks for an EpiPen to arrive.

The pharmacists we spoke to say they haven’t had EpiPens in stock for months. Before the shortage, pharmacies would typically stock two EpiPens at any time, with replacement stock being delivered daily.

The shortage has been going on for how long?
The government’s Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) says EpiPens have been in short supply since January 2018.

Initially orders were not being fulfilled at all, forcing people to visit different pharmacies in the hope they could find untapped stock. Supply has marginally improved, with an ordering system delivering EpiPens to the people who need an EpiPen the most.

Has the shortage been linked to any deaths or serious injuries?
The shortage has not been linked to any deaths or serious injuries in Australia, a Department of Health spokesperson told CHOICE.

We asked manufacturer Pfizer if it has contributed to any deaths or injuries globally, but the company chose not to address the question.

Can I reuse an EpiPen?

EpiPens can only be used once – even if there’s some adrenaline still in the device. After use, they should be placed in a container, marked with the time it was administered and handed over to ambulance staff.

Does the shortage affect EpiPen Junior autoinjectors?
EpiPen Junior autoinjectors are not experiencing a stock shortage.

Are there any alternatives to an EpiPen?
We’re one of the few countries that don’t have an alternative adrenaline autoinjector, along with Canada, which makes us more vulnerable to the ongoing shortage as people don’t have a substitute.

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