Aim To determine if staff in a general paediatric ward are familiar with adrenaline auto-injector devices and can demonstrate correct use.
Method Selections of medical, nursing and Health care assistants were approached over a 48hr period. 25 people were recruited in total. Each person was interviewed individually and asked the following questions:
Can you identify this device? (shown an EpiPen®)
What drug does this device contain and when it should be used?
Demonstrate correct use using an EpiPen® training device (Based on the following 6 steps)
Grip device correctly
Identify correct site for injection
Hold in place for 10 seconds
Rub injection site
Results Figure 1 shows participants by role in the department.
Figure 2 shows the number of participants who correctly demonstrated each of the 6 steps.
Incorrect grip in 3 participants would have resulted in self-injection into the thumb if we had been not been dummy training devices. This is associated with morbidity for the member of staff with a risk of dignital ischaemia, and delay in treatment for the patient.
Conclusion Safe use of medical devices is a part of GMC good medical practice guidelines. Staff in a paediatric unit that treats children with allergies should be familiar with these devices and trained to use them in emergency situations.
Although most staff in a general paediatric ward could identify an adrenaline auto-injector device and know when is appropriate to use it, the majority could not demonstrate correct use of the device. Following a short training session, 100% of subjects were able to demonstrate correct technique. I conclude that through basic demonstration and training, adrenaline auto-injectors can be used safely and appropriately.