For the sake of disclosure, I did get to preview a demo of EpiCenter Medical’s Training program at no cost. The following is solely my opinion of the course, and not a paid advertisement.
I am a parent to two boys with food allergies. I consider myself lucky that we have only had to use an epi-pen once thus far [knocks on wood]. I have been living with knowledge of allergies, epinephrine, and anaphylaxis for six years now. I thought I had a good understanding of what to do in an anaphylactic emergency. Then I took the new Epipen Training course by Epicenter Medical. There were so many points and real situations where I now realize- I would have been unprepared for! This course was developed by Dr. Mark Greenwald and my friend, Elizabeth Goldenberg; whom you may know from her epipen belts, or her wonderful blog, Onespot Allergy. I am honored to say that I am one of the first people who got to review this program as it was being developed.
This course was designed to fill a need in anaphylaxis management that was just not available before. A detailed how-to guide for managing a severe reaction, how to recognize it, treat it, and what to do after the epi-pen was administered. Elizabeth Goldenberg stated: “As background, it was written and produced over a period of 9 months with Allergist Dr. Mark Greenwald and is solidly based on and closely follows the World Allergy Organization anaphylaxis guidelines. These unique World Allergy Organization Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Anaphylaxis were created in response to the absence of global guidelines for anaphylaxis. The course material incorporates the contributions from more than 100 allergy/immunology specialists on 6 continents received through the WAO member societies and the WAO Board of Directors. The course’s recommendations are therefore based on the best evidence available and supported by the most up to date research material.” A wonderful review of this course was written by Selena at Amazing and Atopic.
Who should be looking at taking this course? Families, daycare workers, babysitters, all school staff, flight attendants, all restaurants, bus drivers, police, fire departments, airport personnel. Anyone who works with the public could benefit from this training- as basic as a CPR class- with a real possibility of needing this information and being that person who can help save a life! From Epicenter Medical: “Allergic disease is the 5th most prevalent chronic disease among all ages, and the 3rd most prevalent among children. Every 3 minutes in North America, a food allergic reaction sends someone to the Emergency Room. Every 6 minutes, that Emergency Room visit is for anaphylaxis, that’s 10 patients per hour!”
Some people have voiced reservations about paying for this course. Families who don’t need official certification, CAN all watch the course on the same monitor, so would only need to purchase it once. Elizabeth stated “The objections have been from people who want to provide training for a group, for example: one woman wants to train 50 people at the Y herself, and she can’t afford to pay the fee for all of them herself. We had anticipated that the Y would be our customer for group training, not a mom training the Y herself.” In response to feedback, Epicenter Medical will likely develop a printed manual someone in this situation could buy, with a facilitators guide, and participant manuals for the quizzes.
In conversation with Elizabeth about the cost of the course, she stated “I think people are used to free courses with very limited focus – kids, in schools, with food allergies – so some convincing that the course is worth $39.95 is needed. Mark and I spent about [six figure #] of our own money without any grants and without seeking any donations, so we’d be free to make bold medical and legal statements without tip-toeing around other organizations’ mandates, alliances, perspectives, and restrictions. Those groups had their chance, their messaging isn’t strong (try to avoid your allergens and carry epipens),- Not how to recognize anaphylaxis/exactly when to use an epipen/what life saving techniques to do next/exactly how to monitor a patient pending the arrival of emergency crews- and 1,500 people (!) are dying per year, most recently this boy Monmouth County boy dies of apparent allergic reaction. We really wanted to do a better job.”
Amazing and Atopic said it best: “Imagine a world where everyone around you and your family are educated and prepared to handle an anaphylaxis emergency. This course can help us get closer to materializing that reality. A trained world is a safer world. Thank you Elizabeth and Dr. Greenwald!”
Bottom line- Do I recommend this course? Is it worth the money? YES! Yes it is. I am very impressed with it, and feel that it does an excellent job providing solid advice and training for anaphylaxis management.
*photos courtesy of Elizabeth Goldenberg
If you are interested in purchasing the EpiCenter Medical course you may do so by clicking this link.