Allergic to Food: Carry Two EpiPens

BOSTON, March 26 (UPI) — U.S. researchers suggest children with food allergies should carry two doses of emergency medicine.

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a six-year review of emergency department data. They found among children treated with emergency medicine, 12 percent needed more than one dose of the emergency medicine used — epinephrine, known as EpiPen — because of a resurgence of symptoms — either before or after being taken to the emergency department.


“Until we’re able to clearly define the risk factors for the most severe reactions, the safest thing may be to have all children at risk for food-related anaphylaxis carry two doses of epinephrine,” first author Dr. Susan Rudder says in a statement.

To offset costs, Rudders suggests, school nurses carry un-assigned extra doses of injectable epinephrine for the children who need them.

The study, published in Pediatrics, included a review of the charts of 1,255 children younger than age 18 seen in two Boston emergency departments from 2001-2006 for food-related allergic reactions. The researchers found more than half had the most severe, possibly life-threatening, reaction called anaphylaxis.

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