Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??)

Posted by: norad45

Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 05:32 PM

While hunting or hiking I always carry a survival kit, but I include very few OTC medications: mainly aspirin, Ibuprophin, and some Immodium. Last fall the son of a hunting partner got stung on the neck by a Yellow Jacket (hornet). He did not have an allergic reaction; we simply made a poultice from an aspirin and that seemed to help (maybe a placebo effect?)
My question is this: would administering Benadryl have helped quell or slow down an allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) if he had had one? If it wouldn't help then I won't carry it since minor sniffles are not something I worry about with my kits. But if there is a real medical benefit then I will add it. Comments anyone?

Regards, Vince
Posted by: adam

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 06:11 PM

It could help but even better is an epi-pen. Now here comes the disclaimer I'm not a doctor but I have basic first aid training. First consult your doctor epi-pens needs to be prescribed by a doctor and they must be administered properly. My wife is allergic to bees and we spend a lot of time in the woods. For us the epi-pen and some back up benedryl are important.

I should also mention that you need to seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
Posted by: Polak187

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 06:12 PM

Benadryl helps for:

Itchy Watery Eyes
Runny Nose
Itchy Throat
Nasal/Sinus Congestion
Nasal/Sinus Pressure
Sinus Pain
Sinus Headache
Sore Throat

It is besically a histamine blocker which unfortunately also is a sedative. It will only work to certain extent. First of all you have to make sure that airway is open so he can take a tablet. If he is in severe allergic reaction oral benadryl is useless. In medical field benadryl is used as an adjunct to Epinephrine treatment and form that we use is liquid for IV or IM injection.

Now if you are suffering a minor discomfort in form of sign and symptoms described on top of this reply that benadryl will work. But if you just swell up like a baloon and cant breathe unfrotunatelly more serious theraphy is advised including agresive airway managment and epi treatment.

Also benadryl has an atropine like action which may trigger asthma attack.It causes drowsiness and that may be something you don't want if you are getting out of place where full attention is needed. SInce it also opens you up but speeds up your heart you have to be carefull not to bottom somebody out which means drop their blood pressure below minimum and make sure they are warm since increase in circulation will cool your body faster.

Now above is probably more than you wanted to know. If you have space in your bag throw it in. Most likely person will know what they are allergic to and be prepared. I've seen benadryl making a difference when it changed a horrible trip to a decent one by pluging somebodys nose and clearing up their eyes.

Also make sure that somebody who you are going to give it to is not alregic to it or other anti histamines.

Posted by: Polak187

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 06:26 PM

Epi pen is prescription only. You can't get one just in case. And if there is a crazy doc out there who will give you one it will be for you only. Now if you use your epi pen on your friend or a starnger you are accepting a lot of responsibility upon yourself. Now if you really want epi pen and have no prescrition hop over the border to Mexico or fly to Peru and you can get them there. But I will agree with you that this is the best treatment for severe anaphilaptic reaction.

Posted by: X-ray Dave

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 07:19 PM

In the world of x-ray we treat anaphalactic reactions fairly often ( from contrast media). Foir minor or moderate reactions we give Oral Benadryl first. For more severe reactions we give IV Benadryl and usually other meds as well. Benadryl is in all my FAKs. Benadryl has a tendancy to make some people sleepy, but that can be OK in some situations.
Posted by: adam

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/09/04 08:12 PM

It's worth talking to your doctor about prescribing an epi-pen if you have some family members that have known allergy's. My wife's father almost died from a bee sting.
Posted by: aardwolfe

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ?? - 07/10/04 04:25 AM

The laws will vary from place to place but I believe that a doctor will (sometimes, especially if he knows and trusts you) give you a prescription for some medications if you are taking a group of people on a back-country or remote country expedition.

As a first-aider (in Canada), I can administer prescription medications under the supervision of a doctor; this can include being in telephone or radio contact.

However, from talking to a couple of fellow first-aid volunteers who are severely allergic to insect stings (and are therefore much more knowledgeable about this than I am), almost no two people will react the same to epi-pens. The more often you've been stung, the less time you have to react and the less effective the epi-pen will be. One woman I know keeps her epi-pen clipped to the outside of her jacket (in such a way that if the clip breaks, it will fall inside the jacket and not on the ground) because she won't have time to fumble for it if she gets stung; she also makes sure that anyone she's travelling with knows how to use it, and she carries a letter inside the case that essentially waives any right to sue if someone gives her an epi-pen injection when she's unconscious - her condition is that serious. Another carries 4 epi-pens on the trail, because each one is only good for 15 minutes.

My understanding is that you can also administer medication to a member of your group if (1) you have a written letter of permission from that person (or their legal guardian, if applicable) and (2) have been specifically trained in administering that particular medication to that specific individual - preferably signed off by that individual's family doctor.
Posted by: rkt88edmo

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ?? - 07/10/04 08:20 AM

Speaking of Epi-Pen, I just saw a commercial for the trademarked "Epi-Pen" on TV for the first time and wondered why they are beginning to advertise. Is their patent running out and they are trying to build their brand name before the generics jump in? or are they just the latest company to try and up sales via direct marketing to consumers? or is this just another new market opening up because of renewed 'adventure travel/adventure sports' interest in the USA?
Posted by: norad45

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 07/11/04 12:31 PM

Thanks to all who replied. It sounds like the general concensus might be to go ahead and carry some but not to rely on it to help a severe reaction.
Regards, Vince
Posted by: uw89

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 08/19/04 10:42 PM

I agree to adding this to my kit. I wish I had some in my FAK, as this last weekend, my wife was stung on the first day of our camping trip and it really put a damper on the weekend. She had a minor reaction (her sister is deathly allergic and does carry an epi-pen BTW), and her ankle swelled up a bit. Someone told me that there is a spray benadryl for topical application. I think they make a cream, but I havenít checked the stores to see if this is true. I think Iíll look before my next camping trip though.
Posted by: X-ray Dave

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 08/19/04 11:04 PM

The topical stuff is OK for irritaion or itchy skin, but go with oral or an epi pen for reactions.
Posted by: brian

Re: Should I carry Benadryl in my PSK? (Medical ??) - 08/21/04 11:41 PM

I have used the topical in many forms (cream, liquipen, etc) and it's great for little stuff like mosquito and ant bites to take away the itch and swelling but for anything that a person has a "real" allergic reaction to, I would go with the oral as well. I usually carry a couple tabs of the oral in my FAK when camping but that is mostly for hay fever type stuff should it tend to sneak up on me. It rarely happens (to me) but when it does it can really ruin the weekend if you?re not prepared. Two or three tabs in a blister pack are so small and light that I figure "why not". I usually keep one or two Imodium in blister packs as well. Occasionally that river water gets to me and would ruin the weekend as well if I wasn't prepared with the Imodium. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />