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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2006 May;17(3):221-6.

Parental knowledge and use of epinephrine auto-injector for children with food allergy.

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1
Unité de pneumologie-allergologie pédiatrique, Clinique de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, CHRU de Lille, France.

Abstract

Epinephrine should be prescribed for patients at risk of anaphylaxis. Our purpose was to determine the use of Anapen prescribed for food-allergic children, to assess parental knowledge regarding Anapen, and to evaluate the arrangements for emergency kits and personalized care projects in everyday life. A prospective study was performed with a questionnaire sent to families with a food-allergic child previously prescribed Anapen. One hundred and fifty two families were contacted and finally 111 children included (median age 6.5 yrs). Main food allergens were peanuts (n = 89), egg (n = 39) and cow's milk (n = 10). The use of Anapen had been demonstrated to 90% of parents (by prescribing physician, 69%; pharmacist, 25%; general practitioner, 5%; nurse 1%), with a training device (76%) and/or written instructions (49%). When asked to list symptoms requiring injection, 48% of parents cited more than one response: breathing difficulties only (23%), or with angio-edema (41%), collapse or faintness (38%), anaphylactic shock (48%). Of 107 children attending school, 54% had a personalized care project, 72% an Anapen device, and 60% a complete emergency kit (epinephrine, inhaled beta-agonist, corticosteroid, anti-H1 drug). Beta-agonists were forgotten at school by 34 children (13 asthmatics). Anapen was used in one child for angio-edema and dyspnea after inadvertent ingestion of egg at home. In our population, epinephrine auto-injectors and emergency kits were insufficiently available at schools and in daily life. The use of auto-injectors was not adequately demonstrated. The prescription of epinephrine for food-allergic children at risk of anaphylaxis requires accurate diagnosis, educational programs, information, and follow up.

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