Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carrying More than One Epi Pen Recommended

My local food allergy support group just sent me an e-mail about a study done late last year that found that food-allergic kids with asthma should be carrying two Epi Pens with them instead of just one. Based on a study of more than 400 kids, kids with both medical conditions usually required a second dose in the event of an allergic food reaction.

You can read about this and the discussion that followed on the Allergic Living reader forum by clicking this link.

I didn't know about this and will definitely pack an extra Epi Pen in my daughter's pack at school. This is also a good question to ask your allergist.

Speaking of allergists: we visited ours early this week for a regular check-up and I told her what happened with my daughter's allergic reaction at school. Some of you may remember that I was concerned my daughter's sensitivity to peanuts/tree nuts had increased.

I received good news and bad news. The good news first: my doctor believes that the allergic reaction was not caused by heightened sensitivity or "airborne" allergy. She said that condition is very rare, and unlikely since my daughter had not experienced airborne nut allergy issues in the past. This made me feel better, because of course I was envisioning problems with air travel, field trips, you name it.

Here's the bad news: my doctor believes the reaction was caused by a very small amount of accidentally ingested peanut or tree nut--probably caused by the large number of kids eating those foods near her when the reaction occurred. She concluded this based on the symptoms: nausea, hives, facial swelling. In other words, some of my child's classmates' food got onto her food (obviously a tiny amount or her reaction would have been worse than what it was). She also said that kids with seasonal allergies (my daughter has ragweed allergy) will have a lower "reaction" threshold in general during allergy season--it takes less to cause one.

So, my conclusion about sticking with peanut-free tables holds even more after that discussion. As always, if you have any questions about your own situation, please ask your doctor.

1 comment:

WinnFamily said...

My doctor convinced us to switch to Twinject; it has 2 doses in one container, which is much easier to carry than 2 Epi-pens. The Twinjects also seem slightly smaller and easier to carry to begin with.