Tags: food | allergy | reactions

Severe Allergic Reactions Common

Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:12 PM

Severe food allergy reactions are more common in young children than previously believed, federal officials are warning in a new analysis of cases.
The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, points up the need for caregivers and parents to know how to use epinephrine and other life-saving techniques in allergy-related emergencies, health officials said.
"This study reinforces the importance of doctors, parents and other caregivers working together to be even more vigilant in managing food allergy in children," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, were detailed by the Consortium of Food Allergy Research, a network established by NIAID to conduct studies to better understand and treat food allergy by tracking more than 500 U.S. children.
The consortium found young children with allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts and other foods experience severe life-threatening reactions more often than researchers had expected. The study also found some caregivers are hesitant to give such children epinephrine, a medication that counteracts the reactions and can save lives.
Among the findings:
• 72 percent of the children have had a food-allergic reaction, and that 53 percent of the children had more than one reaction, with the majority due to milk, egg or peanuts;
• 11 percent of the reactions were severe and included symptoms such as swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, dizziness or fainting; and
• In only 30 percent of the severe reactions did caregivers administer epinephrine because the drug was not available, they were too afraid to administer it, they did not recognize the symptoms as those of an allergic reaction, or they did not recognize the reaction as severe.
“The findings not only reveal that food-allergic reactions occur at a much higher rate in young children than we thought, they also suggest that more vigilance and increased use of epinephrine is needed," said Dr. Daniel Rotrosen, director of the NIAID Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, which oversees CoFAR.

© HealthDay

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Severe food allergy reactions are more common in young children than previously believed.
Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:12 PM
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