Ask the Allergist
What's the Correct Position for Injecting Epinephrine?
First, if someone is having an anaphylactic reaction the best position to place them in is flat on the floor, ground, or exam table. Put them in the supine position with their knees bent. The supine position is when a person is laying flat on their back. This promotes good blood flow back to the heart which can improve blood pressure. Standing can make anaphylaxis worse by causing blood pressure to drop. This position also helps to hold patients very still while epinephrine is injected into the thigh. This is helpful, especially for infants and children. In addition, laying down in the supine position can help to prevent a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate, fainting, or passing out.
Second, epinephrine can be injected in any position, laying down, sitting up, or standing. The supine position is ideal. The key message is that epinephrine is the most important emergency treatment for anaphylaxis. It needs to be given early if anaphylaxis is suspected. It is important to not delay the administration of epinephrine.
Follow the anaphylaxis plan. If you have specific questions, follow up with the doctor.
For more information about how to correctly inject epinephrine: Food Allergy FAQ: Top Questions About Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine
John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.