How to use an EpiPen as Christine McGuinness opens up about sons deadly allergy

Christine andPaddy McGuinness have opened up about how their son’s severe nut allergy has left them ‘scared’ to eat at restaurants.

Speaking to The Sun, the couple revealed that they now have to take two EpiPens everywhere with them as a result of son Leo’s health condition in case an emergency occurs.

Paddy,who shares twins Leo and Penelope, eight, and six year old Felicity with Christine said: “Our little boy has a nut allergy -with nut allergies, every child is different.

“Some children can’t even go near a nut, and they can’t even use nut oils because of the fumes in the air and everything else, and they get a really bad reaction, whereas other children might have a nut allergy, but can deal with things.”

Meanwhile Christine added: “Our son’s nut allergy means we’ve to take two EpiPens everywhere we go, and we’re quite scared about eating out because of that.”

So, following Paddy and Christine’s family health scare, here’s everything you need to know about anaphylaxis…

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can sometimes be life-threatening.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis typically occur suddenly and worsen within seconds or minutes.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Trouble breathing
  • A rapid, weak pulse
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Other allergen symptoms may occur alongside the anaphylaxis. These include:

  • Hives (an itchy, raised rash)
  • Sickness
  • Swelling
  • Stomach pain

What triggers an anaphylactic reaction?

Asstated by the NHS, in most cases of anaphylaxis the response is caused by something that a person is allergic to. However, this isn’t always the case.

Some common triggers include:

  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Insect stings
  • General anaesthetic
  • Latex

What should you do if someone has anaphylaxis?

The first thing you should do if someone is having an anaphylactic shock is to give them adrenaline using an adrenaline auto-injector.

This should begin to work in a matter of minutes by reducing swelling, relieving wheezing and improving blood pressure.

At the same time, you should also dial 999 and call for an ambulance.

How do you use an adrenaline auto-injector?

"For EpiPens, the advice used to be to take off the cap, inject it into the thigh and keep the plunger down for 10 seconds,” says Dr Lynn Thomas from St John Ambulance. “But there are other makes now and some should only be used for five seconds and with others, you have to rub the area afterwards.

“But don’t worry, the instructions are in really clear letters on the side of the device.

“If someone has their own device, help them to administer it themselves.

“People at risk will know quite quickly if something’s wrong. They’ll feel lightheaded or faint and may start breathing quickly. You can sometimes hear a wheeze and they may feel clammy.

“If a child carrying an EpiPen or similar device displays these symptoms, use it. With anaphylaxis, there’s not much time to spare.

“Follow the instructions, give the injection in the thigh and call 999 to tell them you’ve done so. The devices are designed to be easy to use and you can use them through clothes.

“Most people who need to carry these devices will have two. Bear in mind that if the first one doesn’t work, you may have to use the second. If there’s no improvement five minutes after giving the first dose, use the second one, preferably elsewhere on the body, such as the other thigh.”

For more information, visit Allergy UK.

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