A Shropshire pharmacist has highlighted the importance of the availability of epi-pens at its county branches after a pharmacist saved the life of a teenager in Ireland.
The young woman suffers from a severe nut allergy and had descended into anaphylactic shock in the street.
The pharmacist administered two life-saving adrenaline injections and the teenager was taken to hospital but was later discharged when her health returned to normal.
Ian Swindell, superintendent pharmacist of Lunt’s Pharmacies – which has pharmacies in Roushill and Hereford Road both in Shrewsbury, along with one in Craven Arms and another in Pontesbury – said the incident highlighted how important it was for the public to be aware that the life-saving epi-pens were available in each of its branches.
Mr Swindell said: “This condition can come on very quickly and the first thought is hospital A&E, but if the patient is out and about in town and suffers an allergic reaction then it’s important to know that pharmacies can be closer to hand and have this vital medication available.
“We stock epi-pens at all of our pharmacies in Shropshire and obviously all of our pharmacists know how to use them.
“It appears the last time this teenager, who is now aged 17, had an allergic reaction to nuts was when she was aged four. This clearly shows it can happen at any time and any place.
“A lot of people carry the epi-pen with them but not all, so it is important they, their friends and relatives and, indeed, ordinary members of the public know they are stocked at pharmacies.”
It is believed the teenager went into anaphylactic shock after consuming a chocolate drink. Sarah Chambers, the pharmacist who went to her aid, said she had all the characteristics of that condition, including swollen lips and a rash.
The epi-pen is designed for such emergencies and provides an immediate dose of adrenaline to the patient. It has been law that all First Responders since October last year must have the ability to administer an epi-pen injection.
Adrenaline is a first-line treatment for anaphylaxis and works by increasing blood pressure, stimulating the heart and relaxing muscles in the lungs. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction at the extreme end of the allergy spectrum. It is a life-threatening condition and is a medical emergency which requires immediate treatment.
For more information on Lunts Pharmacies visit the website https://lunts.net/ or call 01743 232857 for further advice.