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New national Allergy Action Plans have been developed by doctors in an effort to protect children at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions.
The plans, released by the Paediatric Allergy Group of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and endorsed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), allow health professionals to provide clear instructions on the first aid management of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). The plans can then be used by parents, teachers and others without any special medical training to treat severe reactions in children and ensure the most timely and effective care.
"Currently, many different plans are used in the UK, dependent on local and regional practice, which can cause confusion to parents, school staff and health professionals alike" said Dr Paul Turner, who coordinated the plans with Dr George Du Toit, on behalf of the BSACI.
"It's always difficult for doctors to predict which allergy sufferers may be at risk of severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. These plans can be used by GPs, hospital doctors and other health professionals to provide guidance on how to manage allergic reactions."
The plans have been welcomed by parents, teachers and support groups, including the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK. An estimated 6% of children in the UK (approximately 780,000) suffer from food allergies alone and there has been a 400% increase in the prescription of Adrenaline injector devices in the UK over the past decade.1
Professor John Warner, a paediatrician specialising in paediatric allergy, who was involved in developing the plans, added:
"We have been very concerned that carers and young people find handling an acute allergy very stressful, leading to hesitation in using rescue treatment. The action plans will guide carers in recognising and treating allergic reactions in order to prevent them evolving into life-threatening events."
The Allergy Action Plans have been developed by Dr Paul Turner and Dr George Du Toit, on behalf of the BSACI Paediatric Allergy Group, following an extensive consultation period with health professionals, patient organisations and parents of food-allergic children and teachers.
The plans are medical documents, and should only be authorised and completed by the patient's health professional, and not parents or teachers. They are available for download from the BSACI website www.bsaci.org under Publications and Resources.
1. NHS Prescription Cost Analysis for England, 2000-2012.
2. Noimark L, Wales J, Du Toit G, et al. The use of adrenaline autoinjectors by children and teenagers. Clin Exp Allergy 2012: 42 : 284–92.
3. Jones CJ, Llewellyn CD, Frew AJ, du Toit G, Mukhopadhyay S, Smith H. Clin Exp Allergy 2013 (submitted).
4. Marrs T, Lack G. Why do few food-allergic adolescents treat anaphylaxis with adrenaline? Reviewing a pressing issue. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2013: 24 : 222–229
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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BSACI, RCPCH and. "New national action plans set to improve chances for children with severe allergic reactions, UK." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Oct. 2013. Web.
9 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267782>
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