Happy New Year to all! We hope this finds you busy making and keeping those New Year’s resolutions. Ours include continuing to provide you with the latest scientific research and tips for staying healthy, and to work tirelessly to get legislation passed in New York State to keep those living with allergies safe. Our latest victory was helping to pass “Gio’s Law” allowing police officers and firefighters to carry epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to treat anyone experiencing anaphylaxis. Since they are usually the first on the scene in any emergency, this could save many lives.
Best wishes for a safe and happy 2020!
Sincerely, Jon Terry Founder Allergy Advocacy Association
You would think that first responders would always have epinephrine on hand to use in an emergency anaphylaxis situation when every second counts. However that was not the case when Giovanni Cipriano had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts and could not be helped in time by first responders. His mother Georgina made it her life’s mission to pass “Gio’s Law” allowing police officers and firefighters to carry and administer epinephrine, signed into law last December. You can read the full story here.
Governor Cuomo Enacts "Gio's Law"
Bill Signed Allowing Police and Firefighters to Carry and Administer Epinephrine
Edited by Jon Terry January 12th, 2020
In late December, with the 2020 legislative session looming on the horizon, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed "Gio's Law.” This law authorizes police officers and firefighters to carry epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices to treat people having dangerous allergic reactions in an emergency.
One of the nerve-racking parts of living with severe allergies is having to make the call about if and when an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. A shot of epinephrine can save a life but having to inject ourselves or our child with a needle is something we did not sign up for.
However, mistakes in the critical areas of recognizing and responding to anaphylaxis can mean the difference between life and death. Plus, studies are showing that prompt administration of epinephrine can simply reduce the chance that a food allergy reaction moves from relatively mild to severe anaphylaxis.
Over the years, Allergic Living readers have raised many questions related to epinephrine: from when to give it, to when a person needs a second dose, to issues such as how much heat or cold an epinephrine auto-injector can take, whether antihistamines mask anaphylaxis symptoms and more.
We asked Gina Clowes, the nationally known food allergy educator and parenting coach and consultant at AllergyMoms.com, to help us create a go-to epinephrine resource with answers to these vital questions.
It might seem obvious that taking steps to help avoid allergic reactions to peanuts would improve the quality of life for families with someone who has a severe allergy. But it’s nice to know that a scientific study backs this up. Children ages 8-12 participated in the Viaskin Peanut study where they were slowly exposed to their allergen through a patch that releases peanut proteins through the skin and stimulates the immune system. Participants must still practice peanut avoidance, but it will take a lot higher protein exposure to cause the treated patient to react.
Desensitizing therapies are emerging for food allergies and being considered for approval by the FDA. But some in the medical community raise this question: Is desensitization, which is not a cure, enough to improve a food-allergic person’s quality of life?
A new study of families involved in DBV Technologies’ Viaskin Peanut patch therapy clinical trials gives insights into an answer. It found significant overall improvement in quality of life related to gaining greater peanut tolerance on the patch treatment. As well, questionnaires filled out by both children and parents showed quality of life gains in specific areas.
Even though paramedics arrived within five minutes after being contacted and immediately administered epinephrine, 12-year-old Wyatt Polachek died after reacting to something he ingested. He did not have his own epinephrine auto-injector with him as he had never had an allergic reaction severe enough to warrant one. Wyatt’s family donated his organs, and it is estimated they will help at least eight people waiting for transplants. This article reminds readers to always carry two epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) devices with them and to remember that what caused a mild reaction in the past may lead to a severe reaction in the future.
Wyatt Polacheck, a 12-year-old with an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, was enjoying a college football game viewing party with family and friends on November 30. He had a reaction to something he ingested and collapsed.