I hate to admit this but I didn’t know about the EpiClub until our last appointment with my son’s allergist about 6 months ago and we have had an EpiPen Adrenalin (epinephrine) Auto-Injector (let’s just call it an EpiPen) for about 4 years.
I think it happened because despite multiple allergies the first allergist I saw didn’t think we needed an EpiPen because our son hadn’t had anaphylaxis. I wasn’t happy with this allergist (his manner – not because he didn’t prescribe an EpiPen) so we changed to the local public hospital allergy department following an overnight hospital admission with asthma.
We went to the hospital allergy department for a year or so and they insisted we carry an EpiPen but eventually we got lost in this hospital system and they never called us again for an appointment. We made the decision on a friend’s recommendation to change to another private allergist. When we went to her we had an EpiPen already so I suspect she assumed we knew about the EpiClub.
At our last appointment our allergist asked about us having a practice pen and I told her we didn’t have one. She insisted we join and I’m so glad we did! It only takes a minute. This is why I think it’s so great:
1. They post you out a free practice pen. You can use it to teach your kids, teach your family and teach any babysitters
2. They send you out a reminder when your EpiPen gets close to expiry by snail mail, text message or email – you can nominate how
3. You can download Action Plans for anaphylaxis and allergic reaction to take to the GP to get filled in – I got caught one year when I didn’t take one and my GP didn’t have the forms. She ended up just re-signing and re-dating the old one. Always take a fresh plan for them just in case!
4. There are tips on travelling with an EpiPen and a Travel Action Plan you can download
5. There’s information on how to administer the EpiPen and a video you can watch
6. Excellent tips on storage of the EpiPen before use
7. There are links to other excellent resources
I expect a lot of you with an EpiPen for yourself of your children are probably already a member of the EpiClub but if you’re not please join now. It could save a life – even if it’s just used for a yearly reminder to get a new EpiPen. You can join today here.