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Number of Allergic Anaphylaxis Episodes Are Far More Than Those Recorded

rug, medicinal or biological substances when properly administered, unspecified allergy, and anaphylactic shock, food allergy, and other anaphylactic shocks. They found that acute allergic reactions account for more than one million emergency department visits each year, but only about 1% were recorded as anaphylaxis. Dr. Camargo said that patients with acute allergic reactions were increasingly likely to be given corticosteroids and histamine-2 blockers, but not epinephrine. Even among those with recognized anaphylaxis, only 53% received epinephrine.

Elinor Simons, M.D., of Albany (N.Y.) Medical College and colleagues in a separate study found that among families in which one or more children have severe food allergies, 81% did not receive pre-hospital epinephrine and 34% did not receive medical care for a severe reaction. In case of children suffering from anaphylaxis among 507 children only 59% were between the ages of 4-18 years and 37% were less than four years old. About 14% suffered from throat tightness, 33% from lower respiratory tract symptoms and 6 % from cardiovascular symptoms. But out of the 38% of the children who had one or more of these severe symptoms, only 6% were given epinephrine before reaching the emergency room.

Dr. Simons said that waiting too long could be fatal for some patients. Hence the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) has launched a public information campaign to teach families, schools, physicians and other caregivers about anaphylaxis and how to handle it.


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