Re-Branding AppiPen as AllergyHero!

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By popular demand we are changing the name! The release of the app will be delayed slightly to accommodate new features and updates. We are adding a geo location feature in the app which will allow the user to provide their location to the web if desired, essentially further expanding the cast of the safety net in the case of emergency. Also, users will now be able to set a schedules of reminders if so desired. Then phone reminders will alert you when you are leaving certain destinations where you might be prone to forgetting to carry your epi auto injector. The reminders can also be set to remind you when your auto injector will expire. Be sure to stay tuned to exciting new features and updates coming from the AllergyHero network!!

Let’s build safer, more connected allergy communities together!

 

New Anaphylaxis Technologies are Saving Lives

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The technology for epinephrine auto-injectors is making the daunting and scary reality of access and administration easier by the day.  We now have more options for epinephrine injectors than ever before. The Business Insider recently featured features a story written by Megan Rose Dickey, a young woman with a life threatening peanut allergy. A few weeks ago, she experienced a slowly progressing episode. Having never used her injector before she hesitated to administer her Auvi-Q injector, even as her throat was slowly swelling up. She claims her hesitation was due to discomfort with the idea of self administering the injection. However, when all of a sudden the swelling began to progress more rapidly, she quickly opened her Auvi-Q. Upon opening the case, an automated voice tutorial began giving her clear and concise directions for administration which she claims was quite relieving. After the injection she was able to drive herself to the hospital where a doctor told her she needed to be intubated immediately in the emergency room with a large dose of Benadryl. Had she not administered the Auvi-Q she may not have made it to the hospital to receive what turned out to be critical and emergency status care, and things may have turned out very differently for her. She praised the small and accessible design of the Auvi-Q as a new take and updated design of the epinephrine auto injector. Anaphylaxis technology is making the lives of those with allergies easier, and putting everyone more at ease.

 Read the full article on the Business Insider page

Positive Results in Peanut Allergy Conditioning Case

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Following a BBC Health and Science article by James Gallagher published January 30th 2014, entitled “Peanut Allergy Treatment a Success,” a recent clinical trial is making breakthroughs for children allergic to peanuts. 85 children with mild to severe peanut allergies were placed on a peanut protein regimen. Every day they were required to eat a small dose of the protein, gradually increasing the amount over the course of the study. The findings concluded that 84% of these allergic children could eat up to 5 peanuts a day after six months on the regimented peanut protein diet.

According to the article “peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal.” ( 8-10 )

However, this new therapy, although not yet clinically certified, provides hope for allergic children to live a less dietary restricted and monitored life, a burden of stress for many people living with strong allergies.
The purpose of the Cambridge Addenbrooke based Hospital trial was to condition the immune system to cope with trace amounts of the protein. The does was first administered as 1/70th of a peanut trace, which is considerably below the suggested threshold for allergic episodes. Every two weeks the child would spend one night at the hospital where they were given an amplified dose with the potential to elicit a stronger response.
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Although the results were extremely encouraging, doctors and researchers alike are cautioning against any considerations of simulating this experiment outside of a controlled, professional environment.

Professor Gideon Lack posited that “..proper risk assessment needs to be done to ensure we will not make life more dangerous for these children.” ( 50-51 )

A professor of allergy and clinical immunology at the Imperial College of London, Barry Kay, brought up a good point. He affirmed that “the real issues that still remain include how long the results will last, and whether the positive effects might lead affected individuals to have a false sense of security,” ( 55-57 ) concerns that need both clinical and psychological evaluation for this treatment to gain real credibility.

Gallagher, James. “Peanut Allergy Treatment a Success.” BBC.com 30th January, 2014.

Negligence Not an Option

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According to a 2012 news article by Jennifer Goodwin, a Healthday Reporter for US News, a recent study exposed the lack of vigilance among families aware of allergic tendencies in their kids. The study found that more than 70% of children suffer reactions even after they have been diagnosed as allergic to a particular protein, and 11% of these reactions are life threatening.

Children are most frequently cited as having food allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts and it has become common occurrence for parents to misread labels and mistakenly mix traces of food in preparation containing one of these substances. Dr. James Fagin, director of the Pediatric Asthma Center at Cohen Children’s Hospital of New York remarked that this finding of negligence “tells us we are not doing a good enough job educating families about food allergies and avoidance techniques.”

The study tracked over 500 infants deemed allergic to a certain protein between the ages of 3 to 15 months over the course of three years, spanning five U.S. metropolitan areas. Results found that 72% had at least one reaction, while 53% more than one.

However, in half of the cases, the allergy inductive source was given to the child by a non-immediate family members. This suggests that the awareness among the child’s day to day contact networks need to be more aware and cautious, or the parents need to be better about disseminating the condition of their child.

11% were deemed severe reactions, meaning epinephrine should have been administered. Cases where the child experiences wheezing, coughing, labored breathing, swelling or even vomiting are sure signs of a severe attack where the epinephrine adrenaline needs to be administered. Only 30% of this 11% demographic were administered epinephrine adrenaline according to the study conclusions.

In the U.S., an estimated 8% of children are allergic to at least one food, and a great number allergic to multiple. Studies now suggest that the rate of allergies among children is increasing. Proper vigilance requires that not only a parent with an allergic child carries epinephrine, but that their relatives, teachers counselors etc. are all not only aware of the issue but have discretionary access to a source of epinephrine when the child is not with his/her parents or legal guardian.

Dr. David Fleischer, an associate doctor at the National Jewish Health of Denver posits that “once parents see how quickly epinephrine works and how little it hurts, they are much more willing to give it the next time.” However, this infers that parents need to be accountable to proper training in vigilance towards reactions and administration of the epinephrine injector.

 

 

Goodwin, Jennifer. “Study reveals lack of allergy awareness.” US News & World Report. November 4th 2012. Web. April 3rd 2014.