Preventing deaths from food allergy

7 Oct

Preventing deaths from food allergy.


Epinephrine is the primary therapy for anaphylaxis, and an auto-injector should be carried at all times.  Our studies have shown that the medication is often underutilized and many physicians are not familiar with the technique of administration.  It is imperative that we educate ourselves and our patients on the use of this life-saving medication.

Finally, the most vulnerable group are comprised of those who are at an age of risk-taking and prone to ingest possibly unsafe foods to “fit in” with peers and avoid discussing their allergy because of embarrassment.  Our studies of food-allergic teenagers found that their strongest wish was that others, particularly their peers, knew about food allergy; presumably this would reduce the self-perceived awkwardness of having to carry medications and constantly ask questions about the safety of foods.  As physicians we must encourage peer education, but also ensure that our young patients are well informed on food allergy management.


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