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E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

E-Greetings from the Allergy Advocacy Association

May, 2017

We hope this finds you more than ready for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. If you are out cleaning up your yard, beware of bees and hornets that might be building nests in your bushes or even burrowing in the ground. And now is also the perfect time to start checking out summer camps for your children. Be sure to inquire about safety procedures when it comes to stocking and administering epinephrine. Keep in mind that 50% of all fatal reactions to insect venom occur with no previous history of life-threatening allergic reactions. Not only should epi-pens be stocked on site, they need to be taken along when going on field trips, hiking in the woods, or any other activities away from camp headquarters. Our Association has donated epi-pens in the past to the Boy and Girl Scout Associations for just such a purpose, and that saved the life of a volunteer last summer. 

A Mother Pushes for Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

What would happen if a child got stung by a bee or ate something he or she was allergic to on a school bus? When every minute counts during an attack of anaphylaxis, a bus driver trained to administer epinephrine could literally save a life. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of one mother, legislation is being proposed in New York State that would allow employees of companies that provide transportation to be able to administer an epinephrine auto-injector in emergency circumstances.

Stacey Saiontz with her sons Jared and Elliott
Stacey Saiontz with her sons Jared and Elliott

A Mother Pushes for Allergy Safety on NYS School Buses

By Kristen Stewart
May 22nd, 2017

Stacey Saiontz of Chappaqua, New York does everything parents of extremely allergic children do. She brings her son Jared’s food to restaurants and friends’ homes. She wipes down everything from airplane seats and arm rests to playground equipment. And of course she carries Benadryl and an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) device.

She has also taken her fight to keep her son safe one step further—all the way to the New York state capitol.

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A Nurse Works to Make Epinephrine the New AED in Public Venues

The hard work of getting legislation passed to allow public entities to stock and administer epinephrine has been accomplished. But much remains to be done in order to convince the owners of restaurants, sports stadiums, daycare centers and churches to stock EpiPens and to be properly trained. Read about a Canadian nurse who took matters into her own hands to provide storage cabinets and obtain EpiPen donations from pharmaceutical companies along with free training materials.

Be Ready Health Care Inc. Logo
Be Ready Wall-Mounted Auto Injectors

A Nurse Works to Make Epinephrine the New AED in Public Venues

By Janet Goldman
May 22nd, 2017

What happens if you’re at a restaurant when suddenly your best friend has a severe allergic reaction?! Furthermore, what happens if your friend forgot his/her epinephrine auto-injector? What happens if they didn’t know they had any allergies to begin with?! Last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York State’s Emergency Allergy Treatment Act (EATA). This legislation allows public entities to stock and administer epinephrine. Public entities include a wide variety of venues such as restaurants, sports leagues, daycare centers and community centers. The possible benefits are priceless!

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Mueller Family Inspire with “Do it for Dillon”

Angel and George Mueller lost their son Dillon as a result of a bee sting, but vowed to make a positive difference by helping to educate others about the dangers of anaphylaxis. They teamed up with the Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons to provide anaphylaxis training and certification to help medical students learn how to recognize and react to someone going into anaphylactic shock. You can read the full article here.

George and Angel Mueller with Image of Son Dillon
Photo: Alisa M. Schafer/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Mueller Family Inspire with “Do it for Dillon”

By Patty Cobb
May 4th, 2017

Every now and then, someone touches your heart in a way that inspires you. I had this experience last fall when I met Angel and George Mueller of Mishicot. Although our paths crossed in a completely random manner, I’m incredibly grateful to have met this extraordinary couple.

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Study: EpiPens should work at least a while past expiration dates

Is an expired EpiPen better than no EpiPen at all? A recent study by pharmacist F. Lee Cantrell of the California Poison Control Center says definitely yes! After analyzing 40 expired EpiPens, he found that even 50 months past expiration the EpiPens retained 84 percent of epinephrine concentrations - enough to prevent anaphylactic shock. While Mylan is working on producing an EpiPen with a longer shelf life, patients are still encouraged to refill their EpiPen Auto-Injector approximately every 12 to 18 months to be assured of 100% effectiveness.

Hands Holding EpiPen Injector
Photo by Lucas Trieb

Study: EpiPens should work at least a while past expiration dates

Posted by the Reuters News Service on CNBC Web site
May 9th, 2017

It's worth a shot to use an expired EpiPen, if that's all you have, a new study suggests.

For more than four years past their stamped expiration dates, the handheld injectors retained high-enough concentrations of epinephrine to in all likelihood prevent potentially fatal allergic reactions, the study found.

The manufacturer advises patients to replace the life-saving EpiPen devices annually. Worried that surging EpiPen prices make yearly replacement unaffordable for many families, pharmacist F. Lee Cantrell analyzed 40 expired EpiPens and EpiPen Juniors.

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