This incident took place in 2013, but I am compelled to share it in 2023 because airlines still do not have to carry easy to use epinephrine auto-injectors. I contacted United airlines in advance of travel & was met with great customer service. On the day of travel we pre-boarded & I wiped down our entire area. The crew made announcement asking for no nut products to be consumed. Neither I or my son ate.
For unknown reasons (perhaps inhalation or inadvertent exposure to his allergens) my son began to wheeze & had hives. We moved to the service area in the back of the plane. Administered his first epipen. It misfired. I then used his second & also gave him Benadryl.
I asked flight attendant to be ready with their additional epinephrine. I was shocked when told they had none. Let me be clear, the flight crew was concerned but seemed to have no idea what was in the medical kit. I asked them to retrieve medical kit & check. Epinephrine in vial form was indeed onboard but there was not a way to administer it. Flight made announcement to all passengers asking for medical expertise. Luckily, it wasn’t needed. However, our pilot landed in an unscheduled airport to get my son help.
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