Family Pushes For Epinephrine Auto Injectors On Planes After Mid-Flight Allergy Attack

A family vacation turned into an emergency on the way home when 10-year-old Long Island boy Luca Ingrassi suffered a severe allergic reaction mid-flight.

Luca had no idea he was allergic to tree nuts when he and his family boarded the plane, but 15 minutes after consuming a single cashew, Luca started complaining of stomach and chest pain, and a tickling sensation in his throat. Luca was experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction.

Thanks to quick-thinking passengers and staff on the American Airlines plane, Luca survived.

Now his mother, Francine, is calling for change and has started a petition to make all airlines have two pack Epinephrine Auto Injectors on all flights made available to all passengers who have allergies, and for those who are unaware they have an allergy like Luca.

Here is the link to the petition https://chn.ge/2EGBNqH

New Israeli app geared to help allergy sufferers in medical emergencies

Israeli researchers have teamed up with Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency medical service, to create an app that can provide immediate help to patients having an acute allergic reaction.

Aware that many allergy patients find themselves in a medical emergency far from their medication, Bar-Ilan University Professor David G. Schwartz, and doctoral students Michael Khalemsky and Michal Gaziel Yablowitz of the univerity’s School of Business Administration, developed the “EpiMada” app to connect hundreds of high-risk allergy sufferers.

the “EpiMada” connects providers – who might be close enough to arrive significantly faster than an ambulance – with allergy patients. Based largely on the same system as Gett Taxi or Uber, the app could save the sufferer valuable minutes that it would have taken emergency medical personnel to arrive.

Data from University Allergy Clinic Shows Red Meat Allergy May Be a Growing Issue

A study at the 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and World Allergy Organization (WAO) Joint Congress presented a snapshot from a private, university-affiliated allergy clinic with a large increase of anaphylaxis cases caused by alpha-gal, or red meat, allergy.

The dataset included 222 cases of anaphylaxis dating back to 1993 from the clinic. Forty percent of cases had a definitive trigger, 26% of cases had a probable trigger and the cause was unknown in 34% of the cases.

“Interestingly, among cases of anaphylaxis with a definitive cause, the most common trigger was a reaction to galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose, better known as alpha-gal. That is the compound that patients with mammalian meat allergy react to after ingesting red meats like beef or pork,” said author Philip L. Lieberman, MD, FAAAAI.

This varies from earlier reports from the clinic, when alpha-gal allergy had not been fully described. In fact, the percentage of cases with an unknown cause dropped from 59% to 34% from the prior report. The scientists believe that the change in percentage could largely be explained by the increase in alpha-gal cases.

“There has been such an influx in anaphylaxis caused by alpha-gal, that the rate of anaphylaxis without a clear cause has dropped 25%,” said Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI. “The correct diagnosis of anaphylaxis is paramount for patient care, and understanding common causes is vital in this regard.”

The second leading cause was food allergy and the average age of the patients who experienced anaphylaxis was 41 years-old.

 

Urine Test Could Indicate Food Allergies, How Severe They Are

Researchers have discovered that a large amount of identifiable substances are contained in the urine of patients who have food allergies, which could help lead to early diagnosis of allergies through less-invasive testing.

Currently, to check for food allergies, a blood test or skin test, which involves inserting a needle in the skin, is needed. But in a recent study, researchers from the University of Tokyo identified compounds in the urine of mice that can not only indicate whether a food allergy is present, but how severe the symptoms will likely be.

“Urine tests wouldn’t be burdensome even for small children,” said Takahisa Murata, an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo specializing in animal radiology, who led the team of researchers. “I want to develop testing methods that are easier to evaluate if there is a food allergy and to what degree the allergy symptom is.”

Many food-induced anaphylaxis cases in children occur under adult supervision

Montreal researchers found that at least a third of childhood severe food allergy reactions occur in kids who are under adult supervision. And, in most cases, those adults are not the child’s parents.

Scientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre collected data from four Canadian emergency departments, looking for incidents of pediatric anaphylaxis – severe allergic reactions in kids that required medical attention.

They found that, in 31.5 per cent of the incidents, the children had been under the supervision of adults. Another 20 per cent involved kids who were unsupervised; in the last 50 per cent of cases, it was not known if the children had been supervised.

In those incidents involving supervised children, the supervising adult was not the child’s parent in 65 per cent of the cases.

The study’s lead investigator, Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, says the study also found that the majority of allergic reactions occurred at home,

“It was a little bit surprising because I think that we have that false sense of security that as long as we are at home under adult supervision, with an adult that we know, we’ll be fine. Apparently, that’s not the case,” he said.

The study also looked at the role food labelling played in the accidental allergic reactions. They found that one third of the incidents were attributed to a food labels issue.

“But when we asked specifically what were the issues, apparently it’s not because the food labels were not clear. The majority of reactions were because we don’t read the food labels,” Dr. Ben-Shoshan said.

He said the fact that food labels are being ignored suggested supervising adults are not being properly instructed on the need for vigilance.

Asthma and food allergies predictable as early as age one

Children at one year old who have eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) and are sensitized to an allergen are seven times more likely than other infants to develop asthma, and significantly more likely to have a food allergy by age three.

This new finding from the Canadian CHILD Study will help doctors better predict which children will develop asthma and allergies, according to a paper published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

It has long been known that infants with eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD) are more likely to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis in later childhood, a progression known as “the atopic march.” But predicting precisely which children with AD will go on to develop these conditions has been difficult.

The CHILD researchers did find that having AD alone, without sensitization to an allergen, did not significantly increase children’s risk of developing asthma.

“Over the years, the clinical community has struggled to explain the atopic march,” said Dr. Malcolm Sears, founding director of the CHILD Study, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and a researcher at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Study : ‘Surprising’ Numbers Of Adults Are Developing Food Allergies

New research suggests almost half of all allergies suffered by adults begin in adulthood, and allergy rates among both kids and adults continue to rise.

The findings, which were presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting shows that almost half of all food-allergic adults surveyed reported one or more adult-onset food allergies.

“Food allergies are often seen as a condition that begins in childhood, so the idea that 45 percent of adults with food allergies develop them in adulthood is surprising,” says Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “We also saw that, as with children, the incidence of food allergies in adults is rising across all ethnic groups.”

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

 

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.”

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.

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