It’s summer and there’s a heatwave gripping most of the country.
For families who carry life-saving EpiPen® or other forms of epinephrine autoinjector, the question isn’t just how do keep the device at a safe temperature by the pool or in the amusement park, but also at your local Little League game or walking even short distances outside.
No direct light or enclosed spaces
Direct sunlight and intense heat will impact the effectiveness of the epinephrine as will cold temperatures. The EpiPen needs to be kept at room temperature around 77 degrees F. Worn close the body, in a pocket, the temp could rise beyond that. There’s an even greater risk leaving it in a closed car.
A backpack keeps it cool
There are a few helpful tips. The temperature in a purse or backpack is several degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Carrying the EpiPen away from the heat of the body is also a good idea. If it needs to be on your person, try a clip-on carrier. Don’t forget that humidity may make the outdoors feel warmer than it is. Humidity does not affect the EpiPen.
Do not put the EpiPen next to an ice pack or in a chilled container. This will reduce the temperature below the room temp target and is just as damaging as extreme heat.
Try an insulated carrier
There are many insulted and heat resistant carriers on the market. Anything from a three-hour thermal envelope to the fancier custom made EpiPen holders are available. One of the most reasonably priced carriers at $16 is the Thermal Red Ana-Tote. It’s insulated, Velcro secured, neoprene pouch made for carrying the EpiPen, Anapen or Twinject. It is heat, cold and water-resistant and can attach to clothing or car keys.
Use the EpiPen you have
Remember that even if an EpiPen exceeds room temperature, it’s effectiveness it is not totally lost. In an emergency, don’t hesitate to use the EpiPen you have.