Surgeon Exposes Airline Medical Kit Deficiencies after Assisting with Flight Emergency

If you are traveling by air, have a food allergy and are at risk of anaphylaxis just how safe are you flying on an airliner? While in-flight medical emergencies are rare, the FAA requires airlines be prepared. Shiv Sudhakar reports that a surgical oncologist assisting in an in-flight emergency found issues with an airline’s preparation. Lianne Mandelbaum, founder of No Nut Traveler, explains how airlines should be prepared to assist their food allergic passengers.

Find out what the doctor found and to keep you & your safe on a flight.

Surgeon Exposes Airline Medical Kit Deficiencies after Assisting with Flight Emergency

Facing front of a jet

By Shiv Sudhakar
August 17, 2022

Dr. Andrea Merrill, a surgical oncologist in Boston, is raising awareness about the need for better airline emergency medical kits after a tweet of hers went viral recently.

She helped out on an in-flight emergency this summer — and learned a great deal.

Now, she's speaking out and hoping others step up to provide better equipment on board flights. Already, there has been response.

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Q&A with Sung Poblete

Allergists insist that epinephrine is the only first treatment for an anaphylaxis emergency. Yet during the past 15 years the cost of epinephrine has sky-rocketed to unaffordable heights for many patients. Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), answers important questions about how the effect of these costs can be lessened, improving access to life-saving epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices.

Find ways to make epinephrine affordable.

Q&A with Sung Poblete:
Programs Aim to Reduce Epinephrine Costs for Families with Food Allergies

Woman injects epinephrine into her left thigh

By Richard Gawel
By Sung Poblete, PhD, RN
Fact checked by Kristen Dowd

August 10, 2022

Although epinephrine could be a lifesaving drug for the 32 million people in the United States with food allergy, costs can make obtaining its protection difficult.

UnitedHealthcare recently eliminated out-of-pocket costs for epinephrine among the patients it covers, but more work remains, Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), told Healio.

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BOOK REVIEW--The End of Food Allergy

We’re all familiar with the 32 million and growing number of Americans with life-threatening food allergies and that 5.6 million of them are children. In their 2020 book, The End of Food Allergies, Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD and Sloan Barnett offer information, guidance, and hope for anyone struggling with food allergies. A frequent contributor to this newsletter, Kristen Stewart reviews their book, sharing their hope for the future.

BOOK REVIEW
The End of Food Allergy: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse a 21st Century Epidemic

left-Sloan Bennett; right-Kari Nadeau below 'End of Food Allergy'
L-Sloan Bennett; R-Kari Nadeau

By Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD and Sloan Barnett
Book review by Kristen Stewart
August 15, 2022

When I recently picked up End of Food Allergy: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse a 21st Century Epidemic by Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD and Sloan Barnett, I saw the proclamation on the cover — "Featuring Immunotherapy." Naturally I thought that was its subject. It turns out I was both right and wrong.

This book does provide detailed information about immunotherapy, the state-of-the-art treatment that can re-educate the immune system in a matter of months to no longer see allergy triggers as cause for alarm. But that is not all. As an added bonus, it takes the reader on a deep dive into everything one needs to know about food allergies.

Dr. Nadeau, Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, has extensive knowledge and experience in the field after decades conducting trailblazing research and working with food allergy families. As a lawyer, journalist and author of the bestselling book about clean and healthy living Green Goes With Everything — and a mother to two children with food allergies who have successfully undergone immunotherapy — Ms. Barnett brings her own important skills and experiences to the duo. The result is a wide-ranging book full of important information that is an interesting, enjoyable read.

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Patient Story: Why Minutes Count with Anaphylaxis

If you or a loved one is suffering from an anaphylaxis emergency, MINUTES MATTER! Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis; immediate administration is essential to saving lives. In this article Sandra Fusco-Walker, a patient advocate for over twenty years, shares her story of when her husband, who had no previous history of life-threatening allergies, suffered an attack of anaphylaxis. Her story is an important reminder that MINUTES MATTER!

Patient Story: Why Minutes Count with Anaphylaxis

Black Woman Injecting Epinephrine

By Sandra Fusco-Walker

As a patient advocate for 20+ years, I’ve met so many families who have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis. Those who died had one thing in common. They didn’t use epinephrine. Either they weren’t aware they had a severe allergy and never had a prescription, they forgot to carry it, or they thought they did not need it anymore.

National guidelines emphasize epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis. Using it  makes the difference between life and death … and minutes count.

My mantra as an advocate was always, “When in doubt, give the shot!” The medication won’t harm you if you really don’t need it – but anaphylaxis will, and it just might save your life.

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WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller was an 18 year old Eagle Scout when he died Oct. 4, 2014, after suffering a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting. There was no epinephrine available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders. From this tragedy, “Dillon’s Law”, was enacted in Wisconsin, in 2018, to help promote greater access to life saving epinephrine. Recently Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed “Dillon's Law 2.0”, building on the previous legislation that helps greater access to life saving epinephrine.

WI Governor Signs “Dillon’s Law 2.0”

Dillon Mueller on Dirt Bike
Dillon Mueller

April 10th, 2022
MADISON, WI

“Dillon’s Law 2.0,” which expands the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors for individuals having a life-threatening allergic reaction, was signed into law today by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), lead Senate co-author, and Assembly co-author Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Gibson), said this new law is a common-sense expansion of the original 2018 Dillon’s Law that will make saving lives even easier.

“Dillion’s Law is especially important, because it is life-saving legislation born from tragedy, and a continuing legacy,” said Sen. Jacque.

Eighteen-year-old Dillon Mueller died Oct. 4, 2014, after he suffered a severe allergic reaction from a bee sting when no epinephrine was available in the first aid kits of either the friend with him, or the arriving volunteer first responders.

“Dillon himself was an Eagle Scout preparing to take over the family heritage farm,” Rep. Sortwell said. “Had there been an epinephrine auto-injector available to counteract a simple bee sting, a fine young man with his whole life ahead of him would very likely be alive today.”

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