(2) Determine whether known allergies exist. A history of reactions to
previous immunizations is of great importance to alert you to possible reactions and
allow you to take precautions as necessary. Allergies to eggs or fowl are important
when immunization agents prepared in eggs are used, such as influenza or yellow
fever. As in any type of injection procedure, allergic patients, as well as those
presenting a history of suspected allergies, should be referred to the supervisor for a
decision on immunizing procedure. Patients with a history of sensitivity to an
immunizing agent are usually exempt from the immunizations. Ask the patient the
following questions when obtaining the patient's allergy history:
(a) "Have you ever had a reaction to any previous immunization?"
(b) "Do you have a known allergy to eggs or fowl (chicken, ducks, or
turkey, and so forth)?"
(c) "Do you now experience or have you ever experienced a disorder
such as asthma or hay fever?"
(3) Determine whether the patient is pregnant, if appropriate. Follow local
policy concerning questioning women as to whether they are pregnant or suspect they
may be pregnant.
(a) Tact and discretion must be used to avoid unnecessary
(b) Determining pregnancy is important because of the possible effect
of certain immunizing agents on the unborn child.
(c) Most immunizing clinics will not administer an immunizing agent to
a pregnant woman without written authorization from her obstetrician.
Usually, large groups of personnel are scheduled for immunizations at one
time so an automatic hypodermic gun can be used and the immunization
process speeded up. There may be times when you need to administer only
two or three immunization injections during the day, then you would need to
administer the injection with a needle and syringe. This lesson will provide
the procedures to follow to administer injections with a needle and syringe.
Personnel trained in the use of the hypodermic gun will instruct you on its
operation and maintenance before you are required to use it.
b. Have Emergency Tray Available. An emergency tray should be present
and readily accessible. An emergency tray contains materials for immediate treatment
of serious reactions, including a constricting band and syringe containing a 1:1000
aqueous solution of epinephrine. A tracheostomy set should be available since the
majority of fatalities reported involve asphyxiation due to laryngeal edema or swelling.