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The following is an excellent article by Special to American News Report on February 21, 2012.
“Max Rosland, a 7-year-old elementary school student from Carter Lake, Iowa, was placed on a heart-lung bypass machine last month because of a severe allergic reaction to a peanut he ate at school. He survived. Ammaria Johnson, a first-grader from Richmond, Virginia went into anaphylactic shock and tragically died January 2 after eating a peanut her classmate gave her during recess.
The frequent and harrowing stories of food allergies have prompted a national outcry for schools to carry epinephrine (an emergency medicine that combats allergic reaction) and for parents to have their children tested for food allergies.
“This type of tragedy happens more often than you think,” said Darshana Alle, MD, an immunologist certified with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and practicing physician with the Allergy and Asthma Care Centers in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s something that parents and schools must be prepared to address.”
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) reports that food allergies alone cause 30,000 anaphylactic shock episodes and 140 deaths each year.
Anaphylaxis: The Potentially Deadly
The most dreaded manifestation of food allergy is anaphylaxis, a rapid-onset allergic reaction that can cause death. It most commonly presents with skin, respiratory, cardiac or gastrointestinal symptoms, where at least two organ systems are affected. If the cardiovascular system is affected, it can lead to potential shock and death. Anaphylaxis is always a medical emergency.
Click to read more about steps parents can take to avoid tragedy.