Talking Allergies

Statistics and other useful info to use when advocating
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Author:  aaronsmom [ Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Statistics and other useful info to use when advocating

Could we use this topic area to gather statistics and other facts we could all use in our advocacy work, making sure to include the source? We would all be able to save a lot of time doing reseach if we posted statistics, facts here (with their sources).

For example:

Ability of school teachers to use Epipens:

Dr. David Fisher, Allergist and Professor at University of Western Ontario asked 100 elementary teachers qustions about presence of anaphylactic children in schools. He found:

* 87% had children in their schools that carried epipens
* at some point 82% of them had been directly responsible for those kids,
* 76% had received some Epipen training,
* none had ever used a real Epipen,
* 28% either carried an Epipen themselves or had a close releative who did
* 6% had further first aid training
* 6 of the 28 teachers with Epipens had no training on their use

He asked them to try to administer the Epipen Trainer without reading instructions. The results were:

* 23% would have administered the Epipen in a dangerous way (wrong part of leg, or into self's hand)
* another 30% grabbed the needle end in a way that could have activated a real Epipen
* 43% did not know one end from the other
* 10% would have immediately pulled the needle out after activating it. 45% more would have pulled it out before the five-second mark.
* overall pass rate for administration was 12%
* 9 of the 12 who passed had special training, close relative with Epipen, or Epipen themselves.

Dr Fisher's Conclusions: "Although some teaching programs in epipen use are in place, most teachers - especially those without prior specialized knowledge - are still lacking the necessary skills to provide this potentially life-threatening therapy. Further education, or perhaps mandatory certification based on ability to use and Epipen trainer, could improve the situation.

Winter 2005 Anaphylaxis Canada Newsletter:

Author:  aaronsmom [ Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:49 am ]
Post subject: 

AAIA Newsletter, Volume 4, 2005

Nick Pothier, a 12 year old Ontario boy with LTA to tree nuts and peanuts conducted his own poll of his class in Grade 6, here is what he found:

* 67% of his class had brought in a peanut butter sandwich at least once in the year
* 52% brought in foods containing nuts with 10% bringing them in one or more times per week
* 76% of his class did not know what anaphylaxis was

Based on this he came up with teaching modules to increase awareness with his classmates, their parents, his teacher and principal. Over the summer, he made a board game, a pamphlet for "safe" snack and lunch ideas, a peanut/nut free food pyramid, and put up signssigns. He wrote a contract with his principal's help for classmates and teachers to sign.

He felt his presentations went well. He plans to use his study for a science fair project.

Author:  Helen [ Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:49 pm ]
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Great idea! If I come across useful statistics, I'll post them.

Author:  AnnaMarie [ Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:50 am ]
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I'd like to suggest that whenever possible - please post a link to the actual original article.

Author:  Helen [ Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:34 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm sorry to post this one---I have a feeling that doctors don't tell us this because they figure that we are better off not knowing. But it helps to explain to others why we are so worried about reactions---

In true cases of anaphylaxis, epinephrine must be injected promptly, but even then as many as 10% of cases may not be reversible.

This is from _The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology_ March 2005 • Volume 115 • Number 3 by Hugh A. Sampson et al.


Author:  Helen [ Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:07 pm ]
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I think that people in general aren't as understanding as they could be about the need not only to have emergency plans in place but to reduce the risk of *exposure* to allergens.

One of the most common questions asked by parents when their child is diagnosed with peanut allergy is whether the reactions will become progressively worse with each subsequent exposure. In this issue of The Journal, Vander Leek et al20 report findings that address this question. Eighty-three children diagnosed with peanut allergy before their fourth birthday were contacted yearly to record any adverse reactions for up to 22 years (median = 5.9 years). Despite appropriate counseling on peanut avoidance, 50 children (60%) experienced an accidental peanut ingestion during the follow-up period, with reactions occurring about once every 3 years. Although only 27% of the initial reactions were considered to be potentially life-threatening, 44% of those who experienced subsequent reactions had life-threatening reactions. A similar study from the United Kingdom indicated that 59% of patients with peanut allergy who had mild symptoms initially developed more severe symptoms on subsequent ingestions.21 Over 70% of those children who experienced life-threatening allergic reactions initially developed life-threatening reactions with subsequent ingestions. One of the most disturbing findings of this study was the observation that of 8 children who had skin symptoms after “contact” with peanut, all developed respiratory and/or gastrointestinal symptoms after a subsequent ingestion of peanut. In contrast, 63% of children who initially experienced skin symptoms after peanut ingestion developed respiratory and/or gastrointestinal symptoms, whereas 86% of patients who initially experienced respiratory and/or gastrointestinal symptoms developed the same symptom complex with subsequent accidental ingestions.

again, this was from Dr. Hugh Sampson (An article he wrote came up in a discussion at so I've been doing some searching)

Author:  Helen [ Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yay! I finally found the article that I was looking for to which someone alluded on Dr. Sampson wasn't mentioned so it took some searching.

It's from the New York Times. June 10, 2001. "The Allergy Prison" by Susan Dominus."

So all you "paranoid" allergy sufferers and parents of allergic children, take heart (and I'm of course including myself in this category :lol: ):

''I tell my patients, if people point at you when you walk down the street and say, 'Look at that neurotic parent,''' says Paul Ehrlich, a pediatric immunologist in New York City, ''then and only then are you being careful enough.''

see the full story here:

Okay...must put a moratorium on allergy research for the day! I'm supposed to be working on my own research project.....maybe I'm gonna have to unplug my internet connection!

Author:  Julie [ Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:59 pm ]
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Lisa, The "soyonlineservice" article was very interesting. Thank for taking time out of your own research time to search for and post this article.

Author:  Helen [ Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:14 am ]
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It's a great article, eh? And there's more---I looked it up at the New York Times site and the people who copied it on the other site must have accidentally cut off a section. So here's the original url:

Author:  saskmommyof3 [ Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:11 pm ]
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I read both aritcles Lisa, and the part that seems to be cut off it\s the part that refers to "pshycological" problems and anxieties. This section kind of refers to those with allergies and their families as having emotional issues, and not real, concrete reasons for their fears and being extremely careful. I suspect it was cut off for a reason. I liked the article and will use it in the future as a reference to others, but I will use the first version...that does not mention "phsycological issues" of the kids or parents.

Author:  Helen [ Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:06 pm ]
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I see what you mean---but i didn't find the comments to be dismissive. I thought the writer was understanding about anxiety issues. The one thing I didn't like though was the fact that she didn't think that anyone could have a severe reaction to "natural flavours."

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