Researchers led by Carla M Davis, MD, a specialist in the Allergy and Immunology section, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, analyzed data from 1989 pediatric anaphylaxis admissions to North American intensive care units (ICUs) between the years 2010 to 2015. The report was presented at the 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and World Allergy Joint Congress in Orlando, FL.
The team found that peanut butter comprised 45% of all food-induced cases of anaphylaxis, followed by tree nuts and seeds at 19% and milk at 10%.
Anaphylaxis was most common in children aged 6 to 18 (school age) compared with the general ICU population. Children 2 to 5 years of age were the least likely to suffer anaphylaxis. Admissions occurred most frequently during autumn in the Northeast and Western regions of the US.
Although anaphylaxis only comprised 0.3% of all ICU admissions, the overall probability of death was 0.9% with a 1% mortality rate. Peanut and milk reactions were the leading causes of death due to ingestion.
Approximately 1/5 of the patients needed tracheal intubation to restore breathing.
“The characteristics of anaphylaxis in children including epidemiology, morbidity, and mortality tend to be underreported, even though the information could give insights into patterns and possible interventions,” Davis said.