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Somebody who has an allergic reaction or an anaphylactic attack is going to need a dose of adrenaline very quickly. The problem with conventional syringes is that the drug is in the bottle and you need to draw that drug out of the bottle, and then dispose of it safely. If you are having an anaphylactic reaction, there is no way you are going to be able to cope with drawing a drug out of a bottle in the same way a doctor would do. So the solution is an auto-injector.

Different forms of auto-injectors have been around for many years. There are some very good auto-injectors, which are very easy to manage, carry and use and they are available to anybody who is anaphylactic. What the auto-injector does is to deliver a preset dose of adrenaline directly into the body.

As the course goes on, we will look at the individual types of auto-injectors and how to use each one of them, but all of them require an injection of the drug into the top quarter of the thigh.

Auto-injectors are easy for the patient to use without any problems. If you are having an anaphylactic reaction, then you are going to be very distressed, you are going to be uncomfortable, you will have breathing problems, so the solution needs to be simple and that's why these units have been developed. Different people will be prescribed different units but there are currently 3 on the market, the EpiPen, the Jext and the Emerade, and they come in two sizes depending on the body weight of the patient.

We will look at these auto-injectors in more detail in other videos and we have put some leaflets on the student download area of this course.