Patient Story: Why Minutes Count with Anaphylaxis

If you or a loved one is suffering from an anaphylaxis emergency, MINUTES MATTER! Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis; immediate administration is essential to saving lives. In this article Sandra Fusco-Walker, a patient advocate for over twenty years, shares her story of when her husband, who had no previous history of life-threatening allergies, suffered an attack of anaphylaxis. Her story is an important reminder that MINUTES MATTER!

Patient Story: Why Minutes Count with Anaphylaxis

Black Woman Injecting Epinephrine

By Sandra Fusco-Walker

As a patient advocate for 20+ years, I’ve met so many families who have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis. Those who died had one thing in common. They didn’t use epinephrine. Either they weren’t aware they had a severe allergy and never had a prescription, they forgot to carry it, or they thought they did not need it anymore.

National guidelines emphasize epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis. Using it  makes the difference between life and death … and minutes count.

My mantra as an advocate was always, “When in doubt, give the shot!” The medication won’t harm you if you really don’t need it – but anaphylaxis will, and it just might save your life.

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WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller was an 18 year old Eagle Scout when he died Oct. 4, 2014, after suffering a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting. There was no epinephrine available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders. From this tragedy, “Dillon’s Law”, was enacted in Wisconsin, in 2018, to help promote greater access to life saving epinephrine. Recently Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed “Dillon's Law 2.0”, building on the previous legislation that helps greater access to life saving epinephrine.

WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller on Dirt Bike
Dillon Mueller

April 10th, 2022
MADISON, WI

“Dillon’s Law 2.0,” which expands the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors for individuals having a life-threatening allergic reaction, was signed into law today by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), lead Senate co-author, and Assembly co-author Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Gibson), said this new law is a common-sense expansion of the original 2018 Dillon’s Law that will make saving lives even easier.

“Dillion’s Law is especially important, because it is life-saving legislation born from tragedy, and a continuing legacy,” said Sen. Jacque.

Eighteen-year-old Dillon Mueller died Oct. 4, 2014, after he suffered a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting when no epinephrine was available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders.

“Dillon himself was an Eagle Scout preparing to take over the family heritage farm,” Rep. Sortwell said. “Had there been an epinephrine auto-injector available to counteract a simple bee sting, a fine young man with his whole life ahead of him would very likely be alive today.”

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We Need Anaphylaxis Emergency Training for NYS Teachers

“One in 13 children has food allergies. That equals two kids at risk for anaphylaxis in every classroom across America”, according to data from the nonprofit advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). If ever there was a statistic that proves the need/importance/value of anaphylaxis emergency training for NYS teachers, that stat would be it. Learn more about the challenges that parents face, the ongoing efforts to promote emergency training for NYS teachers and the "Teacher Training'' bill (A523 and S587) re-introduced this year.

We Need Anaphylaxis Emergency Training for NYS Teachers

Epinephrine First! Period! on School Chalk Board

Jon Terry
15 April 2022

Greetings. Concerning life-threatening allergies and anaphylaxis, just how safe are kids in New York State public schools? What laws are currently in place to protect kids from anaphylaxis emergencies? Are there loop-holes, gaps or errors in childcare at schools that need to be corrected? While discussing these questions in this article the Allergy Advocacy Association provides new developments and context.

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New Report Finds Major Gaps in Child Care Policies for Food Allergy Nationwide

Having a food allergy can be difficult and at times very frightening. For the parents of a child with a life-threatening allergy, both are true. Parents are vigilant but can’t be with their children 24/7 to monitor what foods they encounter. Often a child-care facility is the one to do monitoring for a portion of the day. But what is required for this important role? A new report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF) titled "Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories compare state-level child care licensing regulations against nine core policy standards that protect children with food allergy in a child care setting.

New Report Finds Major Gaps in Child Care Policies for Food Allergy Nationwide

Elijah Silvera poster

By News Wire ~ 3rd Party Press Release

2022/02/25
The report evaluates child care policies in U.S. states and territories and includes an advocacy toolkit to promote Elijah’s Law to strengthen protections for young children.

Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Today, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Elijah-Alavi Foundation (EAF) released “Child Care Policies for Food Allergy: Elijah’s Law Report for the U.S. States and Territories.” The report compares state-level child care licensing regulations against nine core policy standards that protect children with food allergy in a child care setting.

“Our report identified major gaps in child care regulations for food allergy,” states Kenneth Mendez, AAFA’s CEO and president. “To improve protections, the report also includes a toolkit to help advocates and legislators introduce and enact Elijah’s Law in their states.”

Elijah’s Law is named in memory of Elijah Silvera. On Nov. 3, 2017, 3-year-old Elijah died after having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) at his child care facility. Though the facility had documentation of Elijah’s life-threatening milk allergy, asthma, and other allergies, the staff fed Elijah a grilled cheese sandwich. The child care did not follow emergency protocols to treat anaphylaxis.

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It’s a Brand-New Year But Labeling in the US Remain s a Danger to the Allergic Community

If you have food allergies, then reading a product's label is second nature. It's what you do to help keep you safe. But what happens when a product’s label doesn’t tell the whole story? Listing the ingredients is essential, and required by the FDA, but what about how a product is made? The FDA doesn’t require what is known in the allergen community as Precautionary Allergen Labeling (PAL).

Without that type of information, those suffering allergies can still be at risk. Learn more about PAL and how you can tell the FDA of its importance.

It’s a Brand-New Year But Labeling in the US Remain s a Danger to the Allergic Community

Snacksafely FoodLabel with text
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom

Dave Bloom
2022/01/10

Welcome to 2022! You’ve made your resolutions, hung that brand new “World’s Cutest Puppies” calendar, and are ready to start a fresh new year bursting with endless opportunities!

But what hasn’t changed with the new year are the regulations that govern how manufacturers are required to warn you about the potential for allergen content in the food products you buy. In many cases you are flying blind, relying on manufacturers to decide whether and how to disclose the potential for allergen cross-contact in the foods you purchase for your family.

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