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SURVIVE THIS!OD


by josh pi v en


Bee Prepared How quick thinking and an EpiPen can save a life.


EMERGENCY SITUATION: You’re hiking with your troop in a wilderness area, and a bee stings one of your Scouts. The Scout is highly allergic and goes into anaphylactic shock. What should you do?


SOLUTION: ANAPHYLAXIS (severe, multisystem


allergic reaction) can be a life-threat- ening medical emergency and should be treated as such. Assuming you have a mobile phone, immediately


tell someone to call 911 and report the situation. If you’re in the wilderness,


however, help might take too long to arrive. So administer help yourself. Stay calm, as this will help you think clearly and give the victim confidence that assistance is on the way. First, check the ABCs (airway,


breathing, and circulation). Other symptoms develop almost immedi- ately on exposure, and they could include abnormal breathing, weak- ness, hives, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rate), confusion, abdominal


pain, light-headedness, and swelling of the throat. Note that one, several, or all of


the symptoms might be present. Skin rash or irritation alone, though, should not be considered life threat- ening and may be treated with an oral dose of antihistamine. CPR should be started, if needed.


Next, prepare an epinephrine injection. Individuals with severe insect-sting allergies must always carry a doctor-prescribed injection of epinephrine in the form of an EpiPen Auto Injector. The adult leader responsible for


prescription medicines on the trip should carry the EpiPen, and he or she should tell the other leaders where the EpiPen will be stored. To use the injector, remove the


yellow or green cap from the storage tube and remove the EpiPen. Then, hold the injector in your fist, black tip pointing straight down. With your other hand, pull off the gray “safety release” on the opposite end of the tube (don’t remove it until you’re ready to give the injection). The injection must—repeat


must—go into the victim’s outer thigh. No place else. Do not bother to remove the victim’s pants; the EpiPen is designed to penetrate clothing. To administer the dose, hold the injector, black tip facing the leg, several inches from the outside of one thigh. Then, swing your arm and jab the thigh until the injector clicks. The injector should be at a 90-degree angle to the leg and go straight in. Hold the injector against the thigh


for 10 seconds while the epinephrine is injected. Some liquid may be left


42 S COUT ING ¿ MARCH•AP R I L 2 0 1 1


MARTIN ANSIN


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