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USAnaphylaxis Summit Report 2017

Our founder, Jon Terry, attended the USAnaphylaxis Summit held in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Allergy and Asthma Network. He came away with some great information to share from leading experts in the field who identified best practices and helped develop call-to-action strategies. Jon believes some great strides are being made in anaphylaxis prevention.

USAnaphylaxis Summit Report 2017

US Anaphylaxis Summit Attendees

By Jon Terry
November 1st, 2017

This past fall I attended the USAnaphylaxis Summit meeting at the National Harbor outside of Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by the Allergy and Asthma Network, for over thirty years the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. Five years ago, AAN invited a small group of stakeholders to Washington, DC to participate in the first USAnaphylaxis Summit and hear from leading experts, identify best practices and develop call-to-action strategies. This year the Network gathered experts in allergies, anaphylaxis and patient care to collaborate and author a journal article based on the Summit’s presentations.

Sally Schoessler, the director of education for the Network, acted as the moderator. The summit meeting featured presentations by many prominent allergists, researchers and advocates including Doctors Stanley Fineman, Ruchi Gupta and Michael Pistiner. For many years Schoessler, Fineman, Gupta and Pistiner have been leading activists supporting individuals and families with life-threatening allergies at risk for anaphylaxis. Each presentation was followed by extensive discussion by all participants, allowing for an open and candid exchange of data, viewpoints, and opinions. In previous years these summit meetings have been held across the country in a variety of cities including Boston, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

The Network summit helped to reinforce my opinion that some notable positive national trends in anaphylaxis prevention are moving ahead. They include:

  1. Heightened public awareness of the dangers of untreated anaphylaxis
  2. Improved access to epinephrine as the first line of treatment across America
  3. Increased protection of at risk children in school districts in every state

After reviewing each presentation at the summit, I would like to share with our readers information I consider to be interesting and significant. For what it's worth, here is my list:

  • An estimated 1.24% (c. 4.1 million) to 16.8% (c. 55 million) of the population of the United States may suffer from one or more anaphylactic reactions in their lifetime
  • The severity of allergic disease appears to be increasing, as demonstrated by doubling of hospitalization for anaphylaxis over a five-year period
  • 8% of U.S. children have a food allergy (Two kids per classroom)
  • Of those with food allergies, 30% are allergic to multiple foods
  • Children who experienced a dangerous reaction in school increased to 39%
  • 47 states have enacted Nurse Authorized Stock Epinephrine laws allowing school nurses to stock non-specific epinephrine and administer the medication in an anaphylaxis emergency
  • In the Chicago, IL public schools between 2014-15, there were almost 300 administrations of non-specific epinephrine by school nurses
  • New research has found that teenagers & young adults Intentionally do not carry epinephrine auto-injectors; it makes them conspicuous as having a “problem”
  • 62% of adolescents and young adults with allergies report teasing due to allergies or their auto-injectors
    • 92% carry auto-injectors while traveling
    • But only 53% carry auto-injectors to social events
    • Only 13% of college students carry their auto-injectors
  • The longer the time since the last anaphylactic event, the less likely individuals are to carry their auto-injector devices
  • In January 2017 the FDA banned the manufacture of powdered Latex surgeon’s and examination gloves.
  • Currently, 29 states have public Epi entity stocking laws, including Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Entity stocking legislation permits venues (e.g., recreation camps, youth sports leagues, restaurants, amusement parks, sports arenas and day care facilities) to maintain an epinephrine auto-injector, with the intention of reducing the time it takes to get life-saving epinephrine to a person having a sudden anaphylactic reaction.

It was a real privilege for me to attend this event along with men and women of such distinction in their areas of anaphylaxis expertise. As a “United Network,” we will continue in our efforts to save lives from anaphylaxis at the local, state and national levels. "One life lost is one life too many!"

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