Thursday, May 30, 2013

Product Review: First Aid For Anaphylaxis: An Allergic Emergency

Would you know what to do if you saw someone have a life-threatening allergic reaction? 

I have just completed a one hour online training course from EpiCenter Medical for anaphylaxis first aid.  What an important course for every person to complete!

As a food allergy mom, I am constantly educating others on when and how to use an EpiPen for my children.  It often scares other parents, coaches, and even teachers to think about having to use one.  They are unsure that they will know if they need to use it or how to use it.  They are not sure they will remember what to do in an emergency.  Fear comes from the unknown, which is why education is so very important.

Millions of Americans have been diagnosed allergies, including food, latex, venom, and medication.  These allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, which in turn, can lead to death if left untreated.  It is so important for everyone to know what to do in an emergency.  Many jobs, including teachers, daycare providers, and healthcare professionals, require certification in First Aid and CPR.  This anaphylaxis training should most definitely be added to the list of required certifications.  The only first aid for anaphylaxis is epinephrine, and people need to know when and how to administer it to those in need.  My wish is that this knowledge is as commonplace as is CPR.

This course offers a clear description/definition of allergy and anaphylaxis, along with important statistics such as emergency room visits for food allergies occurring every three minutes.  A very precise explanation of when and how to use an EpiPen is given in great detail, so it is clear to anyone taking this course what should be done in an emergency.  Legal consequences are also discussed so you can feel confidant in your decision to use an EpiPen.  Case studies are given with actual cases involving food allergies that will open your eyes to the need for action in an anaphylaxis emergency.  The content was very clear and of great benefit to everyone.

EpiCenter Medical also offers EpiKits, which are meant to be kept on hand in case of an emergency (stocked with EpiPens), in places such as restaurants or schools.  What a brilliant idea!  I can't wait for EpiPens to be readily accessible in these dangerous (as far as food allergies are concerned) places.

This information is invaluable and could literally save a life.  It is so very important to be educated on how to help people in need.  This course is just the tool to educate people and empower them to help others.

Did you know that 25% of schools don't have a nurse on staff?  And the schools that do have nurses are often sharing a single nurse between several schools, meaning that a nurse is not on site during all school hours.  At the school my children attend, I am confidant in the nurse's ability to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis and to act appropriately.  However, she is not at our school full-time since she is one of these rotating nurses.  When she is gone, who will help my child?  Office staff?  Teachers?  Other school personnel?  They are not properly trained to recognize anaphylaxis and administer an EpiPen, nor would they know what to do after epinephrine is injected.  People need to educated! 

My children will be attending Boys and Girls Club summer camp this year.  I got an e-mail today with loads of information on what to expect from the camp.  One of the headers was Medication:  Here is an excerpt:
"If your child uses an inhaler, epi-pen, etc., please send it with them on their first day. We will keep them in the office. Just a reminder, BGC is not allowed to administer medicine. We have floating nurses who will be in and out of each site all summer. They will assist when needed." 
YIKES!  I responded with an e-mail asking what I need to do to help make it possible to allow staff to help my child in a life-threatening situation.  I know the staff would not just sit back and watch my child die, but they don't have the training to know what to do.  It is a state regulation that the staff cannot administer any medication.  I am working with the managers to get this changed so staff can be trained to administer life-saving medication when needed.  There are all sorts of legal issues about who is authorized to administer meds, so often people are scared to help.

First Aid for Anaphylaxis: An Allergic Emergency is such an important course for all to take!  It only takes an hour of your time, and YOU could be the difference between life and death for someone.  Group rates are available, and I highly recommend school, daycare, and restaurant administrators (just to name a few) consider providing this course for your staff.  The course can be viewed on personal computers, and it can be paused and resumed at your own pace.  What a great feature!

I have only two suggestions for improvement: 
  • While there is a pause button, there is no "Back" button, so if you miss anything (because the phone rings, your 2 year old has to go potty, etc), you have to view the whole section again.  I recommend finding a time when you can devote your full attention to the course. 
  • There is no indicator on how much time is left in each section.  I would like to see some sort of timeline or a countdown clock so I know how long each section is.  Again, I recommend you just find an hour of time you can give to training.
The content of this course is unmatched and complete.  Please check it out and be prepared to help someone in need! 

As a thank you to my readers, use Activation Code EPICENTER to receive 30% off the course fee at EpiCenter Medical.

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