Last September, 18-year-old Shante Turay-Thomas was about to begin her studies toward a law degree at Sussex University when her life was cut short.
The tragedy behind Ms Turay-Thomas passing is one fraught with mishaps. Allergic to tree nuts, she had suffered an anaphylactic reaction after eating food thought to contain hazelnuts at her home in Haringey, North London. She then attempted to administer her Emerade brand epinephrine auto-injector which allegedly failed to operate.
Her mother called emergency services but the ambulance took over an hour to arrive because they were mistakenly sent to Ms Turay-Thomas’ grandmother’s house six miles away. Upon arriving at the correct address, CPR was administered for 15 minutes but she died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
A fault in Emerade auto-injectors was discovered by the manufacturer, Bausch & Lomb, in June 2018, but was thought to be minor, affecting perhaps 1.5 in every 10,000 units. This July, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency issued an advisory regarding Emerade brand epinephrine auto-injectors warning that as many as two in every 1000 could be affected. The agency determined that the devices could not be recalled due to a shortage of alternatives.
Today, an inquest into the death of Ms Turay-Thomas begins. Said her mother: Emma: “I hope action will be taken to ensure that no other families have to endure a loss like ours.”
Our hearts go out to Shante’s family for their loss and we wish them much strength and solace during this especially difficult time.
We remind our readers that auto-injectors are complex devices. Always take two along everywhere, every time in case the first fails to administer epinephrine correctly or a second dose is necessary to stop the progression of anaphylaxis.