I just read a horrific article. It was about a young man who ate a cookie and died of a peanut allergy. But what made it horrific, is he didn’t have to die. His mother found an epi pen but it was two months expired and she was advised not to use it by first responders.
LET ME MAKE THIS VERY VERY CLEAR.
Sometimes, you have to use your own common sense. Expiration dates serve a purpose, but they’re a guidelines. That’s why most are best used by. A mere two months for something like an epi pen is not very far past expiration. And when you’re facing a situation in which a loved one is going to die regardless, worrying about a two month expiration is rather foolish.
But the fact she was told by first responders NOT to use it, and that her son likely would have lived if she had is extremely disturbing. It’s akin to the numerous accounts of 911 calls in which an armed citizen is facing a criminal and holding them at bay, only to have 911 instruct them put their gun down – seriously, when there is a criminal 5 ft in front of them. That could seriously get you killed.
Always remember, the number one responsibility of judgment is YOURSELF.
As for those concerned about the safety of expired medicines. There are concerns, but for most medicines they are far overblown. In fact a military study found that 90% of over a 100 stockpiled drugs they tested were perfectly good 15 years after expiration. The number one failing of drugs was not toxicity, but efficacy. Some drugs became less effective over time. There are some exceptions, but those tend to be drugs like insulin which much be kept in controlled climate conditions already. Liquid antibiotics. Etc. And I’m not advocating using expired medicine. But you know what, in a life and death situation where death is already the selected option, the risk of an expired medicine is rather low.