Unintentional injections from epinephrine auto-injectors increased from 1994 to 2007

The number of reported unintentional injections from epinephrine auto-injectors increased from 1994 to 2007.

Those unintentionally injected had a median age of 14 years, 55% were female, and 85% were injected in a home or other residence.

Management was documented in only 27% of cases, of whom 53% were observed without intervention, 29% were treated, 13% were neither held for observation nor treated, and 4% refused treatment.

To prevent these unintentional injections, improved epinephrine auto-injector design is needed, along with increased vigilance in training the trainers and in training and coaching the users, as well as efforts to increase public awareness of the role of epinephrine auto-injectors in the first-aid treatment of anaphylaxis in the community.

Accidental Injection of Epinephrine Into Finger (click to enlarge the image).

Voluntarily reported unintentional injections from epinephrine auto-injectors. Simons FE, Edwards ES, Read EJ Jr, Clark S, Liebelt EL. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Feb;125(2):419-423.e4.


  1. I think the EpiPen redesign may be helpful in this regard. Much clearer as to which end has the needle.

  2. Anonymous4/27/2010

    Correct. New designs work better:

    A comparison of 4 epinephrine autoinjector delivery systems: usability and patient preference.
    Guerlain S, Hugine A, Wang L. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 Feb;104(2):172-7.