Can First Aiders Administer EpiPens?
Posted in First Aid Articles, on January 14, 2023
When it comes to medications, there are many important things we need to remember as first aiders. One of the principles you will learn in first aid training is that as a first aider, you can assist victim's in taking their medications as long as the five rights are met. Assistance can take the form of getting the medication, helping them open the container, and/or physically supporting the victim while they take the medication themselves. You are not allowed to administer a victims medication. The one exception to this rule are EpiPens. If a victim requires their EpiPen, and they cannot deliver it themselves with our assistance, we can fully administer this medication. The five rights of medications must still be met, they are:
Right person. The victim's name should be on the medication’s prescription label.
Right medication. The medication needs to be for the correct medical condition. This is especially important if someone has multiple prescription medications with them.
Right time. The victim should only take the medication if it meets the timelines outlined on the prescription label. This could include a time of day, based on food intake, or as needed.
Right amount. Read the prescription label to ensure correct dosage.
Right method. Use the directions on the label to ensure proper administration of the medication.
It is important to note that you should not give more assistance than what is needed. For example, if a victim is able to administer the EpiPen themselves then you should not assist them. If they need some help, you can help guide them with your hand around theirs. If they are unable to administer it themselves and they give consent to do so, you can administer it for them. Designated first aiders like lifeguards should always consult their employer around the use of medication.
Interested in learning more? Check out our course postings here to find a first aid course or to recertify.