STUDY: Life Saving Epinephrine Isn’t Administered Often Enough

Less than fifty percent of children who experience anaphylaxis receive epinephrine before treatment in an Emergency Department, despite the medication being the first line of defence against the condition.

According to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, when youths experience serious allergy attacks, known as anaphylaxis – parents, teachers, caregivers, emergency responders and others often don’t administer epinephrine.

The research found that only 36 percent of patients experiencing anaphylaxis received epinephrine before arriving at the emergency department. There is a need for more education, showing caregivers “how to use the auto injectors and walking them through what signs to look for,” said Melissa Robinson, an allergist and lead author of the study.

Approximately 65 percent of the patients surveyed had a known history of anaphylaxis and half of this group had been prescribed epinephrine in the past. However, among the patients who had been prescribed epinephrine, only 70 percent had the medication with them at the time of the allergy attack.

Robinson and her team also noted that there was a major difference between the patients who arrived at the emergency room after being given epinephrine and those who hadn’t. Children whose caregivers had administered an EpiPen were 60 percent more likely to be discharged from the hospital rather than admitted.

Robinson speculates that a major part of the problem is that parents and caregivers often don’t recognize recognise symptoms of anaphylaxis quickly enough (or at all). Some of the most common symptoms include hives, trouble breathing, and vomiting, all which occur within two hours of being exposed to an allergen. She suggests administering epinephrine when two body symptoms react to the allergen (for example, hives and vomiting indicate that both the stomach and skin have been affected).

“If you’re not sure to the point where you’re thinking about it, I tell parents it’s better to give it than to wait,” Robinson said.

Food Allergy Bullying On The Rise

Children with food allergies are twice as likely to be bullied in school and are increasingly falling victim to food spiked by classmates, a new study has found.

A new report in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health highlights that up to 30 per cent of the children surveyed in international studies reported being bullied because of their allergy.

Some were touched with allergens or had food deliberately contaminated. In some cases, children had an allergic reaction as a result of being bullied and hospitalised.

The study found that children with allergies were easy targets for bullying as they were often already socially isolated at school meal times. It also found that bullying also occured online

 

Single Treatment Could Eliminate Severe Allergies

A simple injection that gives life-long protection from severe food allergies could be just 10 years away.
Immunology researchers at the University of Queensland have successfully used gene therapy in animals to wipe the immune ‘memory’ of cells that react to the protein in allergens.
Team leader, Associate Professor Ray Steptoe said these immune cells, known as T-cells become very resistant to treatments, but gene therapy desensitises the immune system so it tolerates the protein.
While the research has focused on an experimental asthma allergen, Dr Steptoe believes it could be used to treat people who have severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, shellfish and other substances.
This ground-breaking research has been funded by the Asthma Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Dr Steptoe said the next step is to work on replicating the results using human cells in the laboratory.
Once that is achieved, a safe and simple gene therapy injection for people with potentially lethal food allergies could be available in a decade.

Hear Grace interview Professor Ray Steptoe;

‎Associate Professor Ray Steptoe

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Sydney Lights The Way For Food Allergy Awareness

On Thursday, May 18, Sydney’s Town Hall was illuminated in teal, the signature colour of food allergy awareness, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded by Cleveland, Ohio native Stephanie Lowe in 2014, was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week, an initiative intended to educate the public regarding the seriousness of food allergy.

TRIGGER Food Allergy Awareness founder, Grace Farah said: “It was so exciting to see the stunning Sydney Town Hall lit in Teal. It’s a great initiative – people see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

The focus now is to look towards next year and have people start to think about what building they can ‘Turn It Teal’ in their home town, city or state.

This year it was Sydney, but how great if next year, in 2018 we see Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, W.A, Tasmania and the Territory ‘Turn it Teal’, but also New Zealand, the UK, Europe and Asia.

“I urge every person in the food allergy community to start thinking about their efforts for next year and how they can become part of this great awareness campaign,” said Ms Farah.

To find out more on how you can ‘Turn it Teal’ go to www.turnitteal.com and suggest a site to light.

Study Finds EpiPens effective years after expiration date

Epinephrine auto-injectors can still deliver an effective dose long after they have expired, according to a new study.

Study author, Lee Cantrell, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of California, San Diego, and his team measured 40 expired EpiPens.

They found that 29 months after expiration, the EpiPens still contained at least 90% of their stated amount of epinephrine.

EpiPens more than four years past the printed expiration date had more than 84% of the medication, enough to prevent anaphylactic shock.

The manufacturer advises patients to replace the life-saving devices annually. However, this new research builds on previous findings that epinephrine auto-injectors have a much longer shelf life than labels state.

“If someone has an allergic reaction, there’s still a dose that would be therapeutic in there,” Cantrell said. “If this is all you have, this is better than nothing.”

Sydney Town Hall First Australian Building To ‘Turn it Teal’

We are excited to announce that TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy has joined with ‘Turn it Teal’ to bring this great awareness initiative to Australia.

In support of Food Allergy Awareness Week, the iconic Sydney Town Hall will be lit up in teal on Thursday 18 May, 2017, making it the first building in Australia – and the first outside North America – to join the ‘Turn it Teal’ initiative.

‘Turn it Teal’, founded in 2014 by Cleveland Ohio mother, Stephanie Lowe was created with the goal of lighting as many prominent monuments and buildings as possible to highlight Food Allergy Awareness Week and the need to educate others about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening and life-altering disease.

“I’m so excited to have the stunning Sydney Town Hall, an internationally recognised landmark, be the first to ‘Turn it Teal’ in Australia”, said Ms Lowe. “Australia has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the world and it seems fitting that it is one of the first countries to come on board and Turn it Teal”.

Australian journalist and TRIGGER Awareness Food Allergy founder, Grace Farah said: “this is such a great way to raise food allergy awareness and I knew we had to bring it here to Australia. People see the building lit and it starts a conversation, but it also shows our Aussie kids and families dealing with food allergies that Sydney cares and Australia cares”.

“My heartfelt thanks to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and her great team at City of Sydney for embracing the idea and making it happen”, Ms Farah said.

Stephanie Lowe said: “Food allergies are a global issue and my hope is that this will lead to many more countries and cities around the world participating in Turn It Teal”.

This May, many buildings will be lit up in teal including Niagara Falls, the Orlando Eye, US Bank Tower Los Angeles and Terminal Tower Cleveland, OH.

The Sydney Town Hall, the largest and most ornate late 19th century civic building in Australia, will shine in teal, the signature color of food allergy awareness, for six hours from 6pm to midnight on Thursday 18 May, 2017.

For more information about ‘Turn It Teal’, visit www.turnitteal.org

TRIGGER AWARENESS – TRIGGER UNDERSTANDING

Famous People Who Have Food Allergies

Many children with food allergies report that they feel “isolated or different” because of their food allergies. Although it is important that children understand the seriousness of their food allergies it is also important for them to know that food allergies are manageable and don’t have to control their life.

It often helps to let them know about the many successful and talented people who also live with food allergies every day and don’t let it stop them.

Famous people who have food allergies include;

Halle Berry: The Oscar winning actress is allergic to shrimp.

Zooey Deschanel: The ‘New’ Girl actress is allergic to eggs, dairy and wheat.

Serena Williams: The tennis champion is allergic to peanuts.

Jessica Simpson: The singer is allergic to tomatoes, wheat, and milk.

Bill Clinton: The Former U.S. President is allergic to chocolate and flour.

Sharing stores of celebrities and athletes who have to live with and manage their food allergies helps food allergic children relate to the world and those they admire and reiterates the message that they are not alone.

Is an Epi-pill on the way

For people with life-threatening food allergies the Epi-Pen is the first line of defense, but what if a pill could one day replace the needle?

Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, PhD, a pharmaceutical researcher at Nova Southeastern University and his team are working on an easier more user-friendly option, by “Using a tablet, a specialized developed tablet, under the tongue of the patient.”

The tablet would deliver the same amount of epinephrine the injection does, minus the needle.
“Once you place these tablets under the tongue they should disintegrate within ten seconds,” Rawas-Qalaji said.

The research team plan to start human trials in the next two years.

Study: Support Linked To Less Risk-Taking Among Teens With Food Allergies

Support and help from friends, family and school was linked to less risk-taking among adolescents with food allergies, according to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The study surveyed young adults with food allergies and found students who had an individualized accommodation plan at school, were significantly less likely to take risks with their food allergies.

“We know that many adolescents and young adults with food allergies regularly engage in behaviors that increase their risk of a life-threatening reaction, such as eating in restaurants without asking about allergenic ingredients,” said senior author Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, pediatrician and researcher at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Other influences linked to less risk-taking included having a peanut allergy, supportive female friends and an overprotective mother.

“Our findings underscore that support is critical for these young people. Our results also suggest that school-level policies may promote reduced risk-taking behavior in teens with food allergies.”

Your Child Has Food Allergies: Now What?

Once your child’s food allergy has been diagnosed, the initial adjustment to your family’s lifestyle can be a challenging time and a source of concern. Adjusting to living with food allergies can take some time and based on our conversations with parents it seems the first two years after diagnosis can be the most challenging.

To assist you, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to hopefully support you with this transition.

The first thing you need to know is that food allergies are manageable. Initially it may seem to be a daunting task to keep your child safe but food allergies can safely be managed with the proper education, preparation and support.

Always follow your doctor’s advice about ways to avoid trigger foods and remember- each child and each allergy is different.

Always remember to take your child’s medication with you. This may include antihistamine medicine, adrenaline / epinephrine autoinjectors (it is recommended that you carry more than one autoinjector).

Have a family action plan should an emergency occur.

Read labels, Read Ingredients; Shopping for a special diet can be a challenge at first and reading food labels will become a part of every-day life.

Talk to others who are dealing with the same challenges. A number of social sites and nonprofit organizations offer information and forums for discussing food allergies.

Plan ahead – Holidays, birthday parties, family gatherings, eating out and days out need more planning.  Make sure you have the right food and drink for your child and advise others of their allergy and how they can keep them safe.

Research, Research, Research. Knowledge is KEY.

If you would like to share your story or helpful tips please contact us at info@triggerawareness.org or connect with us; www.twitter.com/triggernow or www.facebook.com/triggerawareness.org

INFORMATION on triggerallergy.com IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and any information or materials posted are intended for general informational purposes only. Any information posted on the web site is NOT a substitute for medical attention. Please see your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.