Mar 1, 2013 12:28 PM by NBC News
An epipen can be the difference between life and death during an allergic reaction, but new research suggests getting that medicine into the systems of obese children can be problematic.
Epipens contain the life saving medication epinephrine and are usually injected into a patient's upper thigh muscle.
Researchers from the U.K. used ultrasound technology to measure the distance between the thigh muscle and the surface of the skin in nearly 100 children.
They found 80% of obese children had too much fatty tissue in their upper thigh and the needle would not reach the muscle; however, the needle was long enough to reach the muscle in the lower thigh.
Researchers say pediatricians should advise their obese pediatric patients to administer the epipen in the lower thigh, so they can get the medicine into their system as quick as possible.
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