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Online clinic on food allergies - Feb 2015

Allergy UK is the leading national medical charity providing advice, information and support to people with allergies and food intolerance.
Action Against Allergy (AAA) provides information, advice and support to those made chronically ill through the many different forms of allergy and those who care for them.

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children & food allergies

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Availability of Adrenaline Auto Injectors

Postby debbiedebbie on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:24 pm

i would very much appreciate your thoughts on why, as a parent of an allergic child (nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds), I have a fight on my hands every time i request a repeat prescription for my son's Epi-pens. i hear time and time again from other parents in the same situation, when the NICE guidelines state that 2 should be carried at all times (therefore my 5 year old requires 2 for home and 2 for school). There is enough stress in dealing with the allergy on a day-to-day basis without having to fight for life-saving medication that doesnt actually cost very much (circa £25 per pen).
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Re: Availability of Adrenaline Auto Injectors

Postby Dr Adam Fox on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:34 am

Hi
the NICE guideline on anaphylaxis does not state 2 pens should be carried - it doesn't specify numbers. If it did there would be less debate! There is some MHRA guidance suggesting this but it has not been widely disseminated. Whilst many specialist (including myself) advocate for 2 pens, other suggest one and in those areas where only one is provided, audits suggest that if a second is provided, there is almost invariably a paramedic on the scene by then to give it. Of course, it inevitably comes down to the competing healthcare demands with a finite pot of money to pay for it. Epipens are now prescribed to hundreds of thousands of people and fortunately the overwhelming majority are never needed but likewise a large proportion are also not carried and hence not available when they are needed. This is incredibly wasteful. We need to be able to more effectively identify those at high risk and focus efforts there but this is very difficult as food allergic reactions are by their nature incredibly unpredictable.
Dr Adam Fox
MA(Hons), MD, MSc, MB, BS, DCH, FRCPCH, FHEA, Dip Allergy

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