Just like allergy sufferers. And they are on the rise. For many people allergies can range from sniffling and sneezing to skin rashes to gastrointestinal issues. A certain percentage, however, have more than these uncomfortable symptoms to deal with. Anaphylaxis, a serious life-threatening reaction, causes approximately 1,500 deaths a year in the United States alone. Clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!
Articles for Advocacy
Allergic Living magazine and Gina Clowes at AllergyMoms.com reached out to Dr. Julie Brown, an emergency medicine physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, for her expertise on anaphylaxis and epinephrine. In this article she answers frequently asked questions on how to know when to administer an Epi-Pen©, how it works, when to give a second dose, expiration dates, and what happens to epinephrine when subjected to significant heat or cold exposure.
All About Epinephrine: What It Does in a Reaction,
How Long It Lasts, When It Gets Hot or Cold
By Allergic Living
January 9, 2020
One of the nerve-racking parts of living with severe allergies is having to make the call about if and when an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. A shot of epinephrine can save a life but having to inject ourselves or our child with a needle is something we did not sign up for.
However, mistakes in the critical areas of recognizing and responding to anaphylaxis can mean the difference between life and death. Plus, studies are showing that prompt administration of epinephrine can simply reduce the chance that a food allergy reaction moves from relatively mild to severe anaphylaxis.
It might seem obvious that taking steps to help avoid allergic reactions to peanuts would improve the quality of life for families with someone who has a severe allergy. But it’s nice to know that a scientific study backs this up. Children ages 8-12 participated in the Viaskin Peanut study where they were slowly exposed to their allergen through a patch that releases peanut proteins through the skin and stimulates the immune system. Participants must still practice peanut avoidance, but it will take a lot higher protein exposure to cause the treated patient to react.
Peanut Patch Therapy Led to Big Quality of Life Improvement for Families
December 12, 2019
Desensitizing therapies are emerging for food allergies and being considered for approval by the FDA. But some in the medical community raise this question: Is desensitization, which is not a cure, enough to improve a food-allergic person’s quality of life?
A new study of families involved in DBV Technologies’ Viaskin Peanut patch therapy clinical trials gives insights into an answer. It found significant overall improvement in quality of life related to gaining greater peanut tolerance on the patch treatment. As well, questionnaires filled out by both children and parents showed quality of life gains in specific areas.
Even though paramedics arrived within five minutes after being contacted and immediately administered epinephrine, 12-year-old Wyatt Polachek died after reacting to something he ingested. He did not have his own epinephrine auto-injector with him as he had never had an allergic reaction severe enough to warrant one. Wyatt’s family donated his organs, and it is estimated they will help at least eight people waiting for transplants. This article reminds readers to always carry two epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices with them and to remember that what caused a mild reaction in the past may lead to a severe reaction in the future.
The Life, Death, and Life of 12-Year-Old Wyatt Polachek, Food Allergy Sufferer and Hero
By Dave Bloom
December 30th, 2019
Wyatt Polacheck, a 12-year-old with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, was enjoying a college football game viewing party with family and friends on November 30. He had a reaction to something he ingested and collapsed.
Emergency Medical Technicians were summoned and upon arriving within five minutes, immediately administered epinephrine, the only drug known to halt the progression of anaphylaxis, a severe, often life-threatening allergic reaction.
Wyatt was airlifted from a local hospital to Akron Children’s Hospital where he was placed on a ventilator while receiving treatment for brain swelling. He passed away on December 3.
His mom told Allergic Living that he did not have an epinephrine auto-injector with him as he had never had an allergic reaction severe enough to warrant one. She believes the trigger was likely a cookie dough dip served at the party.