Social media influencer Faith Pancoast has gained extra popularity with her new video guide on how to use EpiPen in a severe anaphylaxis medical emergency.
EpiPen (a tool used as an epinephrine autoinjector or adrenaline autoinjector) has itself released a step-by-step guide for using the product. The TikToker’s instructions have so far amassed more than 2 million views on the platform, as well as an additional 5.7 million views on Twitter.
Faith has so thus far not been identified as a medical expert, and that is why Dr. Jeff Foster of H3health.co.uk warned people should only listen to instructions given by trusted professionals.
In an interview with Newsweek, he said:
“The problem is sometimes people don’t know how to use them properly. In general a specialist will tell you/your child how to use an EpiPen but sometimes watching a well-constructed video can be useful in providing a chance to rewatch the process and pick up techniques.
“The only caveat is that you have to be careful what you watch. Half the health advice you see on the internet is complete nonsense. So always try and get your information from a reputable source.”
Faith started her video by saying:
“What you are going to do is a three-step program. Blue lid off. You are going to take the needle end. Not with your thumb on top. Not with your thumb on [the] bottom.
“Insert it into the outer thigh; the side of the thigh. Not the top. Not the back. Not the stomach. Not the chest. Not the neck. The side of the thigh.
“This is where the femur muscles are. Typically, this is the largest part of the body. You do not want this puncturing the bone, okay? And if it is puncturing the outer thigh, it never will.
“The needle is about [2 inches long] and for people with needle phobia, you will not ever see the needle come in or out. The needle end extends, so you will not ever see the needle.”
She explained that the tool will then need to be held in place for about 10 seconds and cautioned viewers to be wary of the side effects, adding:
“Epinephrine is pure adrenaline, okay, [so] they are going to be bouncy, they are going to be jittery, so do not be afraid of out.
“In fact, most of the time, when I am given epinephrine, I cannot talk because my brain is running at 10,000mph, so do not be alarmed, unless I go unconscious, in which case you should be alarmed.”
Faith concluded her video with the following message:
“When in doubt, blue to the sky, orange to the thigh.”
I needed a quick video to show friends how to use my EpiPen should I ever need it in their presence
I have found it
Important for everyone to watch, pls pic.twitter.com/31j5drr1zx
— Becca (@BeccaBeckery) November 26, 2021
Faith’s video got many people to question her advice to always call 911, regardless of whether it was truly needed.
Dr. Giuseppe Aragona of OnlinePrescriptionDoctor told Newsweek that EpiPen is used in emergencies to treat allergic reactions to food, drugs and insect bites.
“Epinephrine which is the medicine in an EpiPen works to quickly reverse symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. It helps to improve your breathing, increase blood pressure and reduce any swelling, it also will help to stimulate the heart.
“If you think you might be allergic to certain things then it is a good idea to always carry an EpiPen on you, as of you do suffer a serious reaction it could save your life. Often, people who are severely allergic to certain foods or insect bites will carry one on them daily.
“EpiPens are easy to use once you understand how to use them. I would advise watching a how-to video and understanding exactly how they work so if in an emergency you can work quickly to save yourself or someone else.”
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