Texas Pharmacist Administers Life-Saving EpiPen Injection

A husband and wife were out on a run when something in the air caused an allergic reaction in the woman. The first place the couple turned to for help was the pharmacy at Brookshire Grocery Company in Bullard, Texas.

A husband and wife were out on a run when something in the air caused an allergic reaction in the woman. The first place the couple turned to for help was the pharmacy at Brookshire Grocery Company in Bullard, Texas.

It was there that pharmacist Ellawyn (Elly) Baker, PharmD, demonstrated expertise and speed in getting the woman the medication she needed to combat the anaphylactic shock.

Dr. Baker told Pharmacy Times that the couple came over to the drop-off window, and the patient’s husband asked for a recommendation on allergy medicine.

When I walked over there to talk to him, I saw his wife,” Dr. Baker explained. “Her face was swollen, her eyes were almost swollen shut and were watering profusely, and she was breathing heavily.”

Dr. Baker asked the woman if her throat was swelling, and she nodded. The pharmacist also asked if this had happened before, and the woman managed to say that it had, and that she was given an EpiPen injection.

“That's when I realized she needed a little more than allergy medicine!” Dr. Baker exclaimed.

She grabbed an EpiPen and asked the woman if she wanted to administer the medicine herself, but the woman pointed at her. Dr. Baker gave the injection, and the woman started to breathe freely again a few minutes later.

The pharmacy also called 911, informed the woman’s primary care provider, and is keeping documentation of the event for 2 years in accordance with Texas law.

“The couple was very thankful and were happy to hear about the new law that allowed me to help her,” Dr. Baker said.

Effective since January 1, 2016, House Bill 1550 allows pharmacists to administer epinephrine in emergency situations and protects them from liability.

The husband told Dr. Baker that they were from out of town and didn’t know where else to go when the incident occurred. The closest urgent care facility was around 15 or 20 minutes away, Dr. Baker said.

“With a reaction as time-sensitive as anaphylaxis, it’s great that pharmacists can now legally administer EpiPens,” Dr. Baker said. “Our area is rural, but there are much more rural areas of our country than here, and having a pharmacist nearby who can legally administer this medicine can be life-saving.”

(Photo by Sarah A. Miller of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.)