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Found 46 results
  1. News Article
    Only 60% of patients who have had hospital treatment for food anaphylaxis were prescribed medicine to tackle another reaction, a study has found. The study of some 130,000 NHS records where food allergy was mentioned showed 3,589 patients received "unplanned hospital treatment" for anaphylaxis. Of those, only 2,152 were prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors (AAI) at least once. Two leading allergy specialists have produced guidance to raise awareness. Clinical scientist Dr Paul Turner from the National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London, who carried out the study, and Prof Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Evelina London Children's Hospital, said they hoped the leaflet they have produced would save lives. It is designed to help patients, parents, families, grandparents, friends and nannies so they feel empowered and more confident when looking after a person with food allergies. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 October 2023
  2. Content Article
    Allergic reactions vary in severity. People with food allergy tend to have reactions which affect the skin or gut, but around one third of reactions involve the breathing: these more serious allergic reactions are known as anaphylaxis. Very rarely, anaphylaxis can be severe and therefore life-threatening. This leaflet created by Allergy UK and Anaphylaxis UK explains how you can reduce the risk of this happening. Anaphylaxis is unpredictable and can occur in people who have never had this type of reaction before, but most people will recover fully. 
  3. News Article
    Millions of people wrongly believe they are allergic to penicillin, which could mean they take longer to recover after an infection, pharmacists say. About four million people in the UK have the drug allergy on their medical record - but when tested, 90% of them are not allergic, research suggests. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society says many people confuse antibiotic side-effects with an allergic reaction. Common allergic symptoms include itchy skin, a raised rash and swelling. Nausea, breathlessness, coughing, diarrhoea and a runny nose are some of the others. But antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections, can themselves cause nausea or diarrhoea and the underlying infection can also lead to a rash. And this means people often mistakenly believe they are allergic to penicillin, which is in many good, common antibiotics. These are used to treat chest, skin and urinary tract infections - but if people are labelled allergic, they are given second-choice antibiotics, which can be less effective. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 September 2023
  4. News Article
    Dangerous allergic reactions are rising in England and now cause some 25,000 NHS hospital stays a year, according to data gathered by the NHS and analysed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Health officials say the rate has more than doubled over 20 years, prompting them to issue advice reminding people how to recognise allergies and respond. For severe food-related allergic reactions, the rise in admissions is even greater. The figures suggest anaphylaxis is on the increase, though some of the rise could be attributed to the growth in population. Anaphylaxis can be fatal and develop suddenly at any age. People who know they are at risk should always carry two adrenaline pens which they, or someone else, can administer in an emergency. In addition, people at risk of an anaphylactic reaction should regularly check the contents of their adrenaline pens have not expired. They should see a pharmacist to get a new one if a pen is close to expiring. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 July 2023
  5. Community Post
    NHS hospital staff spend countless hours capturing data in electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems. Yet that data remains difficult to access and use to support patient care. This is a tremendous opportunity to improve patient safety, drive efficiencies and save time for frontline staff. I have just published a post about this challenge and Triscribe's solution. I would love to hear any comments or feedback on the topic... How could we use this information better? What are hospitals already doing? Where are the gaps? Thanks
  6. Content Article
    Food allergy affects around 7-8% of children worldwide, or about two children in an average-sized classroom. As children spend at least 20% of their waking hours in school, it is not surprising that data show that 18% of food allergy reactions and 25% of first-time anaphylactic reactions occur at school. This report by the Benedict Blythe Foundations looks at the prevalence and seriousness of allergies in school-aged children, and the devastating consequences when things go wrong at school.
  7. Content Article
    Pharmaswiss Česka republika s.r.o. and distributor Bausch & Lomb UK Limited is recalling all unexpired batches of Emerade 500 micrograms and Emerade 300 micrograms adrenaline auto-injectors (also referred to as pens) from patients. This is due to an issue identified during an ISO 11608 Design Assessment study where some auto-injectors failed to deliver the product or activated prematurely. Specifically, the 1-metre free-fall (vertical orientation) pre-conditioning resulted in damage to internal components of the auto-injector, leading either to failure to deliver the product or premature activation. This damage was not visibly apparent following the pre-conditioning but was evident only on subsequent functional testing. It is unclear what impact this has on auto-injectors in clinical use, however as a precautionary measure and owing to the inability to identify this issue before the auto-injectors are used, the auto-injectors are being recalled. Healthcare professionals should inform patients, or carers of patients, who carry Emerade 300 or 500 microgram auto-injector pens to obtain a prescription for and be supplied with an alternative brand. They should then be informed to return their Emerade 300 or 500 microgram pens to their local pharmacy.
  8. News Article
    A senior coroner has warned that more allergy sufferers will die due to a “lack of national leadership” following the death of a 17-year-old aspiring doctor. Heidi Connor said the “tragic” case of Alexandra Briess was “not new territory”, citing three recent cases where people had died from anaphylaxis. She has now written to the Government saying lives are at risk without better funding and research into the condition and calling for the appointment of an allergies tsar. The Berkshire coroner’s warning comes after an inquest into the death of “bright and well loved” Alexandra, who died from a reaction to a common anaesthetic. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 18 April 2023
  9. Content Article
    On 22 May 2021, 17-year-old Alexandra Briess underwent a tonsillectomy and subsequently experienced post-operative bleeding, requiring second operation carried out at Royal Berkshire Hospital on the 30 May. During anaesthesia, she experienced a sudden deterioration and cardiac arrest. Despite extensive resuscitation efforts, Alexandra died on the 31 May. Subsequent investigations have revealed that the most likely cause of her sudden deterioration was an anaphylactic reaction to Rocuronium. In this report, the Coroner highlights connections between this case and three other Prevention of Future Deaths Report’s and suggests there needs to be greater funding and a role within the NHS to coordinate a national approach to prevent/reduce future deaths.
  10. News Article
    The government is investigating reports that growing numbers of people are developing life-changing allergies to some gel nail products. Dermatologists say they are treating people for allergic reactions to acrylic and gel nails "most weeks". Dr Deirdre Buckley of the British Association of Dermatologists urged people to cut down on gel nail use and stick to "old-fashioned" polishes. Some people have reported nails loosening or falling off, skin rashes or, in rarer cases, breathing difficulties, she said. Although most gel polish manicures are safe and result in no problems, the British Association of Dermatologists is warning that the methacrylate chemicals - found in gel and acrylic nails - can cause allergic reactions in some people. It often occurs when gels and polishes are applied at home, or by untrained technicians. Dr Buckley said: "We're seeing it more and more because more people are buying DIY kits, developing an allergy and then going to a salon, and the allergy gets worse." The allergies can leave sufferers unable to have medical treatments like white dental fillings, joint replacement surgery and some diabetes medications. This is because once a person is sensitised, the body will no longer tolerate anything containing acrylates. Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 April 2023
  11. News Article
    A new information standard has been developed for sharing digital information on medication and allergies across different parts of health and social care services. The standard, which aims to reduce medicines errors comes into effect this month. NHS and social care organisations will have to show compliance by March 2023. GP practices, hospitals, mental health trusts, pharmacists, community teams and residential care homes will all have to meet the standard when transferring medication and prescription information between teams. The standard will be particularly helpful in reducing medication errors when patients transfer between care locations NHS Digital said. Having specific requirements in place for how medicine and allergy information is transferred will also provide clinicians with a more detailed and consistent source of medicines related information across all care settings and allow them to obtain medicines information more quickly and efficiently, they added in a document outlining the changes. The standard defines how the send and receive messages involving medicines information are constructed, and how the data within is structured so that it is machine-readable when sent between different IT systems. Dr Simon Eccles, deputy CEO of NHSX and national chief clinical information officer said: ‘This new standard will make medicine prescribing safer for patients and easier for clinicians, reducing errors in prescription and improving the monitoring of medications that can cause harm. ‘This is the result of a true collaborative effort between NHSX, NHS Digital, industry and the frontline that will make a real difference to the care and support local clinicians can provide to their patients." Read full story Source: Pulse, 28 October 2021
  12. News Article
    There is a “lack” of NHS services available to people with allergies, a group of MPs has said. Despite increasing rates of hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions – also known as anaphylaxis – allergy services “have largely been ignored”, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy said. The group warned allergies are “poorly managed” across the health service due to a “lack of training” and only a small number of allergy experts. “This mismatch has continued despite millions of patients having significant allergic disease,” it said. In its latest report, which is to be delivered to Government on Wednesday, MPs said there are 20 million people in the UK who are living with allergic disease, including five million whose illness is severe enough to need specialist care. “Yet our allergy services remain inadequate, often hard to access and are failing those who need them the most,” the report adds. The group made a series of recommendations including: devising a “national allergy plan” to address problems; expanding the specialist workforce and ensuring all GPs get training in how to deal with allergies. Read full story Source: ITV News, 27 October 2021
  13. News Article
    A nurse from scandal-hit Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital ordered a pregnant woman to take medication she was allergic to. Christine Speake, who had worked in the NHS for almost 40 years as a midwife and nurse, has been struck-off the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register after a tribunal heard she told the mother to “just take it” and then tried to cover-up her mistake after the woman suffered a reaction. The NMC hearing was told the 11-week pregnant patient and her unborn child could have died after being prescribed the Buscopan by a junior doctor to treat severe nausea and vomiting in January 2019. The woman – named only as 'Patient A' – was given the drug by Speake despite her allergy being included in her medical records. Speake was employed as a sister on the gynaecology ward at the Princess Royal Hospital. When the mother questioned what she was being given, Speake, who has worked as a midwife and nurse since 1985, snapped "just take it". The panel heard Patient A then had a violent reaction and broke out in a rash and started vomiting. But Speake, who realised her mistake, then failed to tell her colleagues in a bid to “cover up” what she had done and later resigned, the NMC tribunal heard. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 October 2021
  14. News Article
    People with allergies and pregnant women can now be given the country’s two approved COVID-19 vaccines, the medical regulator said on Wednesday. Previous advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said people with a range of allergies to food and medicines should not be given the Pfizer vaccine. Dr June Raine, the MHRA’s chief executive, said growing evidence from a pool of at least 800,000 people in the UK and around 1.5 million people in the US who have had the vaccine has "raised no additional concerns". This, she continued, "gives us further assurance that the risk of anaphylaxis can be managed through standard clinical guidance and an observation period following vaccination of at least 15 minutes. Read full story Source: The Independent, 30 December 2020
  15. News Article
    The UK’s drug regulator has warned that people with have a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued the warning after two NHS staff members who were administered with doses on Tuesday both suffered an allergic reaction. NHS England said all trusts involved with the vaccination programme have been informed. Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said the regulatory body was examining the cases. “We know from the very extensive clinical trials this wasn’t a feature," she told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "But if we need to strengthen our advice now that we’ve had this experience in the vulnerable populations - the groups that have been selected as a priority - we get that advice to the field immediately.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 December 2020
  16. Content Article
    This study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examines the demographic, clinical and socioeconomic factors associated with diagnosis of Long Covid in children aged 5 to 18 years. The authors conducted a population-based cross-sectional study using data from 20,601 children living in Israel who tested positive for Covid between 1 February 2020 and 30 June 2021. They found several variables associated with the development of Long Covid, including: the severity of acute infection being hospitalised recurrent acute infection ADHD diagnosis chronic allergic rhinitis chronic urticaria. The authors call for heightened clinical awareness that Long Covid can be present in children, and highlight that this should affect public health policy because of Covid-19's long-term health impacts.
  17. News Article
    The parents of a teenage girl who died from an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette have set up a clinical trial to make "food allergies history". Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse's daughter Natasha, 15, died in 2016 after eating a baguette containing sesame, to which she was allergic. The trial will investigate if everyday food products can be used as treatment. It is a unique opportunity to establish immunotherapy as a practical treatment, according to an expert. The trial, set up by the family from Fulham in west London, will see whether commonly available food products, such as milk and peanuts, can be used under medical supervision to treat those with food allergies. After a 12-month desensitisation period, those involved will be tracked for two further years. Mr and Mrs Ednan-Laperouse's daughter died in 2016 after she ate an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette containing sesame seeds, bought from a Pret a Manger at Heathrow Airport. The wrapper did not have any allergy information, and, as it was made on the premises, this was not required by law at the time. In October, "Natasha's Law" was brought in, making allergy information a requirement for food made on site. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 May 2022 Related articles on the hub Why allergies are the Cinderella service of the NHS – a blog by Tim McLachlan
  18. News Article
    The rising rate at which Australian children are being admitted to hospital for serious food allergies has flattened since infant feeding guidelines were changed, new research shows. The rate of hospitalisation for food anaphylaxis has increased in Australia in recent decades – but data suggests that changes to allergy prevention and infant feeding guidelines in 2008 and 2016 have helped to stem the rise in young children and teenagers. In 2008, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy guidelines were changed to recommend that allergenic solid foods should no longer be delayed, and in 2016 they were again updated to suggest such foods should be introduced in the first year of life. Study co-author Prof Mimi Tang, an immunologist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said the greatest benefit of the updated guidelines was in children aged one to four. Tang said there had been important changes to allergy prevention advice in the last 15 years. “Prior to 2008, all of the food allergy … prevention guidelines around the world were advising to delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as egg, milk and peanut until the ages of somewhere between two and four, depending on the food,” she said. “The reason these recommendations were in place was based on theoretical concerns that the gut barrier was perhaps not as strong in young babies.” But a growing body of evidence showed that delaying allergenic foods was associated with an increased risk of developing food allergies. In the new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Tang and her colleagues noted an ongoing increase in anaphylaxis hospitalisation rates in teenagers aged 15 and older at the time the research was completed. People in this age group were born before the 2008 changes to the Australian guidelines. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 February 2022
  19. News Article
    Certain cough medicines sold behind the counter at pharmacies are being withdrawn over safety concerns. Health experts say there is a very rare chance that some people could experience an allergic reaction linked to an ingredient called pholcodine. People should check the packaging of any cough tablets or syrups they have at home to see if pholcodine is listed among the ingredients. If it is, talk to your pharmacist about taking a different medicine. Products containing pholcodine do not need a prescription, but cannot be bought without consultation with the pharmacist as they are kept behind the counter. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) described removing the products from sale as a precautionary measure. Read full story Source: BBC News. 15 March 2023
  20. Content Article
    This blog by Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence-based Medicine at the University of Oxford and Clinical Epidemiologist Tom Jefferson, looks at safety and regulatory issues associated with Essure, a permanent contraceptive implant. Essure anchors inside the fallopian tubes and reacts with the tissues, causing them to become inflamed and scarred. The resulting scar tissue then blocks the tubes off, intending to prevent fertilisation. The devices are about 4cm long and contain a stainless steel, nickel and titanium inner coil and an expanding outer coil containing iron, chromium and tin. Essure has been shown to cause allergic reactions, lifelong inflammatory reactions and internal injuries. The authors examine how Essure came to be approved for use in the USA, the UK and the rest of Europe, highlighting regulatory failings and conflicts of interest with the medical tech industry. They also highlight how pressure from women harmed by Essure resulted in its use being banned in several countries. The blog then describes ongoing efforts to access UK data on reports of adverse events due to Essure that are held by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulations Agency (MHRA). Freedom of Information requests for this data have been denied.
  21. Content Article
    Celia Marsh died on 27 December 2017 at Royal United Hospital, Bath. She had a known allergy to milk. On that day whilst in Bath City Centre she ate a super veg rainbow flatbread which she believed was safe to eat; she suffered an anaphylaxis reaction caused by milk protein which was in an ingredient within the wrap; this caused her to collapse and despite the efforts of the medical teams The medical cause of death was 1a) Anaphylaxis triggered by the consumption of milk protein.
  22. News Article
    A teenager with a severe nut allergy died in part because of human error, a coroner has ruled. Shante Turay-Thomas, 18, had a severe reaction to eating a hazelnut. The inquest heard a series of failures meant that an ambulance took more than 40 minutes to arrive at her home in Wood Green, north London. Her mother Emma Turay, who said she felt "badly let down" by the NHS, wants an "allergy tsar" to be appointed to help prevent similar deaths. The inquest heard call staff for the NHS's 111 non-emergency number failed to appreciate the teenager's worsening condition was typical of a severe allergic reaction to nuts. A telephone recording of the 111 call, made by her mother, at 23:01 BST on Friday 14 September 2018, revealed how the 18-year-old could be heard in the background struggling to breathe. "My chest hurts, my throat is closing and I feel like I'm going to pass out," she said before asking her mother to check how long the ambulance would be, then adding: "I'm going to die." The inquest heard Ms Turay-Thomas had tried to use her auto-injector adrenaline pen, however it later emerged she had only injected a 300 microgram dose, rather than the 1,000 micrograms needed to stabilise her condition. It also emerged she was unaware of the need to use two shots for the most serious allergic reactions and had not received medical training after changing her medication delivery system from the EpiPen to a new Emerade device. The inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court was told an ambulance that was on its way to the patient had been rerouted because the call was incorrectly categorised as requiring only a category two response, rather than the more serious category one. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 January 2020
  23. News Article
    One of the main brands of adrenaline auto-injector pen, which can save lives during serious allergy attacks, is being recalled in the UK after the death of a teenager whose family say the product failed. Shante Turay-Thomas, 18, died in September last year after it is claimed that her adrenaline pen did not work although she tried it twice. She told her mother, “I’m going to die,” as she succumbed to an allergic reaction to hazelnuts. Her death was the subject of an inquest hearing last month, which resumes this week. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed this weekend that all batches of Emerade auto-injector had been recalled from pharmacies after an error was identified that can cause some pens to fail to activate. Between July and November, the agency said it had been made aware of 16 suspected activation failures. The agency said it was aware of two fatalities of patients reported to have used the pens but the fault had not been confirmed as a contributor to the deaths. Read full story Source: The Times, 8 December 2019
  24. Content Article
    There has been an increasing trend in commercially available diagnostic tests for food allergy and intolerance, but many of these tests lack an evidence base. In this article, Philippe Bégin from the University of Montreal describes the risks involved with using unproven diagnostic tests for food allergies and intolerances. He highlights that alongside their high cost, they may lead to false diagnoses, with associated anxiety and unnecessary strict avoidance diets. They may also lead truly allergic people to believe they are not allergic to certain foods, which could cause them to eat a food that gives them a life-threatening reaction. He also provides a list of tests that are offered to consumers, but that are unproven and should be avoided.
  25. Content Article
    Anaphylaxis is a severe and often sudden allergic reaction that occurs when someone with allergies is exposed to something they are allergic to (known as an allergen). Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening, and always requires an immediate emergency response. Between 10 May 2017 and 10 May 2019, 55 hospital trusts reported 77 incidents relating to allergens in hospital, three of which involved the patient going into anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. This e-learning course is for nurses, healthcare assistants, ward managers, staff educators, directors of nursing, dieticians and anyone else involved in patient care on the ward. It has been designed to equip participants with knowledge and understanding about food allergies so that they can ensure the necessary processes are in place to keep inpatients with food allergies safe.
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