Clinical Queries: Unintentional injection of epinephrine from autoinjectors
Martin Camacho MSN, ACNP-BC

October 2011 
Volume 41  Number 10
Pages 59 - 59
  PDF Version Available!

Martin Camacho, MSN, ACNP-BC, replies: Epinephrine autoinjectors are prescribed to patients because epinephrine is the drug of choice to treat anaphylaxis, the most immediate and severe type I hypersensitivity reaction.1 Epinephrine is a sym pathomimetic agent with both alpha1- and beta2-adrenergic agonist properties, with actions including bronchodilation and vasoconstriction.2Injuries from unintentional injection of epinephrine from autoinjectors may occur when someone handling the syringe accidentally discharges the spring-loaded mechanism or uses an incorrect administration technique. Most of the unintentional injections of epinephrine from autoinjectors i nvolve a finger or thumb.3 The rate of accidental injections is rising; from 1994 to 2007, the American Association of Poison Control Centers received upwards of 15,000 reports of these incidents.4Immediate management is indicated due to the potential risks for local tissue necrosis and severe pain due to epinephrine's vasoconstrictive

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