Quick-Thinking Pharmacist Saves Man Suffering Anaphylaxis at Local Restaurant


Keith Downey was dining at a local restaurant in Blessington, Ireland when he began experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. He suddenly developed difficulty breathing and other telltale signs.

Downey had experienced an allergic reaction before, but rather than receiving a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector, was told he would be prescribed one if it happened again. This time, he was caught without and the consequence could have resulted in his death.

Dean Siney, a family member, received a call from Downey’s wife and rushed to the restaurant. He immediately called an ambulance and also had the presence of mind to phone a local pharmacist. That pharmacist, Killian McGreal, was out with family but advised him to bring Downey to his pharmacy immediately and tell the ambulance to meet them there.

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Upon arrival, McGreal determined the cause was anaphylaxis and immediately administered an EpiPen. Downey has since made a complete recovery.

Later, Siney posted the following tribute to McGreal on Facebook:

I just want to come on here and thank Mcgreals Pharmacy Blessington and Kilian McGreal in particular for his help and support last night in a very serious situation. I’ve no doubt his actions saved a life.

When late last night I recieved a call to say that a relation of mine had taken an allergic reaction to something he ate, I rushed to assist/help. When I got there i realised very quick how serious the situation was. His body had gone into a complete state of shock (rash, hives, swelling, weezy breathing). I asked his wife had it happened before and what was done and she told me yes and he had to recieve a shot from a EpiPen. I contacted Kilian straight away who was actually out with family at the time and he advised us to come straight to Mcgreals pharmacy to meet him while the ambulance was on the way. When we got there Kilian treated him with the necessary emergency medication (EpiPen) luckily just in time as his breathing was getting very bad. Like I said I’ve no doubt what he did saved a life and I couldnt thank him enough.

I’m also just sharing this situation for those who have allergens, just be super cautious and make sure you have the right medication on hand at all times as the consequences can be fatal. ?

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We at SnackSafely.com are happy tragedy was averted, but this episode could have turned out differently with devastating consequences.

If you are diagnosed as having a food allergy, there is no telling how severe your next reaction will be. Request a prescription for emergency epinephrine if your medical professional does not offer you one and be sure to carry two auto-injectors everywhere, every time.

Knowing your trigger foods, we strongly advise you to avoid restaurants where your allergens of concern are present in the kitchen unless you have spoken to the establishment’s management, have relayed the seriousness of your allergies, and are confident the staff can accommodate your restrictions safely without cross-contact.

And if you suspect anaphylaxis, administer epinephrine immediately and call emergency services.

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Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of SnackSafely.com.

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