Notes on the presentations
Allergy in adolescence – Dr Tom Marrs
Adult food allergy – Dr Isabel Skypala
Menu planning for allergy – Tanya Wright
Living with allergy – Hazel Gowland
Latex allergy – is the epidemic over? – Dr Nicola Braithwaite
The LEAP study – Professor Gideon Lack
Allergy in adolescence – Dr Tom Marrs, Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Allergy at St Thomas' Hospital
The Anaphylaxis Campaign's recent and extremely successful video, Take the Kit, shows how being unprepared, as an allergic adolescent, can prove fatal. Dr Marrs' talk expanded on this theme, not only from the point of view of the adolescent, but of their family and any health professionals with whom they came into contact.
To illustrate the last point he quoted the fatal case of a peanut allergic boy on an airplane where they were serving peanuts. The boy felt unwell, and his throat became tight. He was carrying adrenaline. However, the GP who happened to be travelling on the plane and came to help suggested that the attack was asthmatic not an allergic reaction and they they should use his asthma pump and not the adrenaline.
Points to remember:
• Fatal reactions peak in late adolescence so this is the period of gravest risk.
• The vast majority of cases of anaphylaxis resolve naturally with the body producing its own adrenaline.
• The vast majority of deaths occur because the adrenaline was not used early enough.
• Uncontrolled asthma is the greatest risk for those who also suffer from a potentially anaphylactic allergy.
Only 16-34% of anaphylactics actually use adrenaline when they suffer an anaphylactic shock. Why?
Learning from survivors:
BSACI action plan for anaphylaxis:
Survey of 1600 parents, 500 health care professionals and 800 teachers:
US food allergic parents and children, asked how happy they were about injecting adrenaline and how comfortable they felt about it, were hugely influenced by whether or not they had been trained and knew how to use their autoinjectors.
Adolescents do not think they are invincible
Adolescents need lots of support:
Can adrenaline be dangerous?
Provided the adrenaline is injected into a muscle (it is almost impossible to do anything else with today's auto-injectors) it is totally safe and does not even produce any side effects. (In years gone by when it was injected directly into the blood stream it could be dangerous, especially in adults, but that is no longer relevant today.)
In Scandinavia training takes place with real life adrenaline injectors so that that the allergic person gets a feel for what getting an injection of adrenaline should be like.
Adult Allergy – Dr Isabel Skypala, Consultant Allergy Dietitian and Clinical Lead for Food Allergy at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Skypala reported that her adult patients were a very 'mixed bag' in terms of allergies. Few had been allergic as children although nearly all of them had suffered from eczema as children.
Milk and egg allergies were rare; more common were allergies to nuts and peanuts, fruits, fish (especially shellfish), chocolate (to the theobromine), additives, citrus and various vegetables.
Plant food allergens
Wheat and milk rarely seen as allergens in adults although often implicated in other food related conditions.
Non IgE reactions
Menu planning – Tanya Wright, Specialist allergy dietitian
Tanya suggested that one should be aiming for easy, tasty, inclusive food – building on one's existing knowledge of food however great or small that might be.
One needs to learn to become an avid and informed label reader and to read every label as apparently similar product can be very different. She once logged 7 different varieties of hot dogs, each with different ingredients!
Be aware of 'naturally freefrom' foods and also be aware that having a 'freefrom' tag does not mean that a food is 'freefrom' all allergens, only the ones specified.
You also need to be aware of the extent your own or your child's allergies. For example, if they are egg allergic, can they tolerate cooked egg? In which case, be aware of which food contain cooked egg (baked good etc) and which contain raw egg (mayonnaise, royal icing, lemon curd etc.)
Also be aware of the many different names under which flours, legumes etc may be sold, especially in ethnic shops.
Living with allergy – Hazel Gowland of Allergy Action
Allergy is a whole package of atopies – but the connections between sensitivities are not always made.
There are 178 pages covering 50 threads on allergy on Mumsnet...
Allergic child care involves management plans:
Latex allergy – is the epidemic over? Dr Nicola Braithwaite, Consultant Paediatric Allergist at King's College Hospital, London
1927 saw the first case of latex allergy.
Dramatic rise in the incidence of latex allergy between 1980s and 2000, especially among healthcare workers and children with spina bifida.
1990s – USA – incidence:
Latex surgical gloves
Epidemic seems to be over in developed countries where exposure to latex in healthcare products has been hugely reduced – although it remains an issue in developing countries where latex healthcare products are still more widely used.
However, when latex was taken out of healthcare products, it was introduced into catering and is still used in condoms.....
First published December 2015
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