Once again, world attention is focused on the story of a 15 year old boy from the UK who died of peanut cross-contact. Rather than focus solely on the incident itself, we’ll highlight common sense strategies to help avoid tragedies like this in the first place.
William Luckett had had his first food allergy reaction at four years old and was diagnosed with a nut allergy at age six. At that time he was given a prescription for epinephrine auto-injectors which he never needed to use. Over time, with the absence of reactions, the family stopped filling the prescriptions.
In December 2012, William was visiting his father on the Isle of Wight and was having ribs for dinner, takeout from a local Chinese restaurant. He began experiencing classic symptoms of anaphylaxis: difficulty breathing and swelling of the lips. Despite his father’s efforts, William lost consciousness and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.
California’s stock epinephrine bill, SB 1266 introduced February 21, 2014 by Senator Bob Huff, would make the stocking of epinephrine mandatory for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools as well as the training of personnel to administer the drug in cases of suspected anaphylaxis.
As we approach Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 11-17), we at SnackSafely.com would like to remind you to always take 2 epinephrine auto-injectors along, whether you have the severe food allergy or your child does.
Once again, a child’s death caused by anaphylaxis is receiving attention in the media, this time in the UK. The loss is yet another in a long line of horrific, preventable tragedies, but there are lessons to be learned from the details of the child’s exposure and the subsequent attempts at first aid.
Connor Donaldson, a 12 year-old boy from Greater Manchester with severe asthma and a severe peanut allergy, died October 19, 2013 after ingesting a few bites of curry the family had taken out from a nearby restaurant.
His mother had discussed the allergy with a staff member of the restaurant over the phone prior to ordering. She was assured that their dishes would contain no peanuts.
The food allergy community was abuzz last week with the news that Mary Baxley, a paraprofessional at Holiday Hill Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida, received a 10-day suspension for bringing peanut butter cookies to celebrate a student’s birthday in a peanut-free classroom. But what should parents of children with food allergies learn from the incident?
Yesterday, New Jersey’s stock epinephrine bill, designated A2734, passed the Assembly by a vote of 73-0 with 6 abstentions. The bill was subsequently sent to the Senate (where it is designated S2109) and referred to the Senate Education Committee.
New Jersey has already enacted legislation that provides for the storage and administration of prescribed epinephrine to children with diagnosed allergies. This bill would extend those provisions to:
- Mandate epinephrine auto-injectors be stocked at all NJ schools, public and private, for use with any child suspected to be suffering anaphylaxis;
- Train individuals in addition to the school nurse to administer epinephrine;
- Extend immunity from liability beyond school employees acting in good faith to the physicians that prescribe stock epinephrine to schools.
There is another option that was not explicitly mentioned in the article by FARE that might help defray much of the consumer cost for epinephrine auto-injectors.
In addition to the $0 copay offers from the brand name auto-injector manufacturers, there is a similar $0 copay program for the generic version of the Adrenaclick© auto-injector manufactured by Lineage Therapeutics. As this is a generic auto-injector, the initial cost of the product may be less than the brand name options, and if you have prescription coverage, your co-pay may be lower/reimbursement rate higher. Combined with the $0 Co-pay offer, this may prove to be a more cost-effective solution for your family.
We know that renewing prescriptions for auto-injectors can be a costly venture especially if you have minimal or no prescription coverage. The good news is that pharmaceutical companies are providing incentives to help consumers afford their products.
Are you a parent of a child with severe allergies? Make these New Year’s resolutions and be sure to share with family and friends!
Make no mistake about it… you are on the front lines of a war against anaphylaxis if you or your child have a severe food allergy. Don’t leave your only effective, life-saving weapon at home – because anaphylaxis takes no prisoners!
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