EPIPEN® in the finger…

January 3, 2013

Hand XR, Orthopedics, Trauma, XR

I can think of only a couple worse places for an Epipen® to accidently be stuck:

EPIPEN finger 1

This is a pediatric patient that one of my colleagues saw.  Fortunately as you can see from the xray the tip of the needle went right through the bone and exited out the other side and the digit was not ischemic.

Accidental injection of epinephrine into a digit actually occurs somewhat frequently.  There are case reports and articles written on management if the digit is ischemic.  I’ll refer you to one that was published in the UK in 2004:

Velissariou I, Cottrell S, Berry K, Wilson B: Management of adrenaline (epinephrine) induced digital ischaemia in children after accidental injection from an EpiPen. Emerg Med J 2004, 21:387-388.

The article was a summary of three case reports out of the United Kingdom.  They used warm water immersion, topical nitroglycerin, and in one case local injection of 1.5 mg of phentolamine in 1ml of Lidocaine 2% was used with good effect.  Phentolamine is a short acting α blocker and can counteract the α mediated vasoconstriction epinephrine provides.  If you are practicing in the U.S., keep in mind that local Poison Control Centers can be good references if you have questions on management.

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

Image Contributor:  Mary Bing, MD


About emrems411

EMREMS: Radiology in Emergency Medicine

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  1. The LITFL Review 090 - Life in the Fast Lane medical education blog - October 2, 2013

    […] EPIPEN® in the finger… – Awesome X-ray! […]

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