Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I Shot the Orange, But I did not Shoot the Kiwi Fruit

So last night, Mr. W. and I finally had five minutes to perform our little Epi-Pen experiment.

First, I laid out pen, orange, box all neatly arranged on a blue surgical towel (thanks to my sister in law for keeping us stocked with those towels, they're fabulous).

I removed the epi-pen from its cylinder and popped off the little grey protective cap (the cap is crucial since it keeps the thing from firing off prematurely.

Then it was time to 'shoot the orange.' I carefully lined up the pen over the orange with my left hand while trying to snap a photo with my right hand. Note: This is a really good way to have an accident, and I highly recommend having a designated photographer when performing these kinds of experiments.

Note the damp spot on the towel to the right of the orange on the photo below. When I jabbed the pen at the orange, the needle popped out with a pretty strong pop, and the orange rolled a bit. Not a big deal since it was just an orange, but this would be pretty alarming if L were needing the meds that dripped out because I was clumsy. Also note the slight bend in the needle. I think this was also due to the orange roll. Oddly enough, I was kind of glad to see the bend. It showed that the needle was not going to break off very easily.

This next photo shows my attempt to put the pen back in the protective case. The needle poked a hole right through very easily. Mr. W. later bent the needle on something so that we could put the spent pen back in its case. We plan to take the spent pens to our doctor's office for proper disposal.

Below is a side-by-side cmparison between the spent epi-pen and the unused pen. Again, note the bend in the needle. We are taking the other pen to daycare, and the director is planning to do a demonstration during their next staff meeting.

Overall, I was surprised by how easily the needle 'popped' and administered the medication. I can also understand how people accidentally inject themselves. It does not seem to take much pressure to cause the needle to release and the medication to dispense. The epi-pen directions specify that you need to jab the pen firmly into the upper outer thigh, and I'm curious to try again and really watch how much pressure it takes to actually cause the pen to release. Next time, I'll be taking the pictures and let Mr. W. do the jabbing. I suspect the firm jab is to keep the needle's release from knocking the pen away from the patient, thus causing the medication to spill out like when my orange rolled.



Builder Mama said...

Methinks you enjoyed this maybe a little too much!

Very cool - I've always wanted to try an EpiPen.

Mrs. Wheezer said...

LOL! Maybe just a little...