You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:30 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:33 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I am very sad to report that there has been a death from anaphylaxis in British Columbia.

Carley Kohnen, age 13, who had allergies to foods including dairy and peanuts, had an anaphylactic reaction after eating food on Thursday, March 29 and died shortly after that. Unfortunately she did not have her EpiPen with her.

There is a news story online at ... 8e&k=19647 .

Her parents are in my thoughts and prayers.

I know this kind of news is very distressing for the allergy community, and that it is very easy to feel that this could happen to any of our children or adult friends with allergies. I think the thing to keep in mind is how much we need to keep working with our kids and youth to remind them to always carry their life-saving medication, and to not eat if they don't have it. We must continue to strive to make them part of the team that keeps them safe. (And I know that is not always easy with teenagers.)

As Dr. Peter Lee, who is quoted in the article, says: allergy deaths are "totally preventable" -- but it takes vigilance. Those with life-threatening allergies of any kind and their friends and family must continue to work together to reduce the risks, practice prevention, and ensure that epinephrine -- life-saving medication -- is always on hand.


Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:58 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2987
Location: Toronto
This is so awful - and preventable, as Karen says.

There is also this TV coverage from Global's Keith Baldrey:
Click on “heavy pollen” for the video clip

I hope that the B.C. gov't will at least see the need for greater awareness and education.
What MLA Cubberley proposes in his bill is clearly needed. We need to have systems and procedures in place; to do everything humanly possible to protect these kids - perhaps especially in those teen years.

If you haven't written yet to Shirley Bond (see the schools - anaphylaxis laws thread), please do so.

thanks, Gwen

Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:01 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Ottawa
So awful, and so preventable. :(
My husband and I discussed this last night and it seems that the teen years really are the most vulnerable years. The natural tendancy to rebel, buck authority, test limits, the feelings of invincibility, the desire to fit in with ones peers...all at a time when the schools are relaxing their vigilance and more and more responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the child.
I have read in several books that teenagers are not always believed when they say they have food allergies and ask detailed questions about food ingredients and food handling. They may not have the self-confidence to be assertive enough in some situations.
More has to be done to train food service staff.
More has to be done to assist young people in recognizing that they can do what everyone else does-they just have to do it safely. MedicAlert bracelettes and restaurant cards add credibilty to their insistance for more information. EpiPens do not belong in lockers. How can we make carrying them more acceptable to this age group?
My heart hurts for the parents of Carley Kohnen.

Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy and green beans) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: Oral Allergy Syndrome, Allergic to Birch trees

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:44 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 692
Location: Cobourg, ON
I was thinking about the knowledge of the food staff as well. The teenager had a responsibility to carry the epipen but the food service staff need to be knowledgeable also. I can completely see a teenage being dismissed. A teenager with food allergies might not want to draw too much attention to themselves when asking about safely issues especially when their peers are along with them. As well, the way a teenager is dressed (just the nature of teenagers) might make them less presentable and easier to dismiss by food service staff. Many people still do not distinguish between milk intolerance and milk allergy. There is probably more understanding in the food industry about peanut allergies but less knowledge about other allergies. There is probably a lot of work to do in the area of training food service staff. What good will it be to teach our children to inquire about their allergies if the staff is not knowledgeable?

I was also thinking that training in schools needs to encourage peers to assist their allergic friends. By teaching everyone in school from an early age the importance of having the epipen on hand, it is more likely that peers might help allergic friends to stay safe. There is the slogan, friends do not let friends drive drunk. It would be important to encourage a similar message about eating without an epipen. I am sure that the friends of Carley are devastated and are probably wishing that in hindsight that they could have done something different. Just some thoughts.

This is a somewhat similar situation to Sabrina Shannon. She ate in her school cafeteria after asking the servers about her allergens and then she did not have her epipen with her. There were other complications to her situation but still some similarities. My heart goes out to the family. The teenage years are certainly going to be a challenge.

13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:35 pm
Posts: 115
Location: Vancouver
I completely agree!
Staff at restaurants/ malls need to be better trained and informed!
My sister went to Nando's recently to pcik up some chicken.....she was told the sauces were safe...she brought the food home and doesnt the packaging on the sauce have a " may contain" warning!
We called the manager at the restaurant to make him aware of what had happened( after all it was him she had spoken with at the restaurant and he confirmed the sauces were okay!!)...Needless to say he was apologetic....but assured us that the sauce on teh chicken was "safe"....How can that be?
Its the same sauce they baste the chicken with!
So, another thing off the list!
I have had similar issues at McDonalds, and Subway,.......
Regretably, people seem to think that if a product does not contain nuts its safe.....
I hope the family of this poor girl are coping. My heart goes out to them!

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group