The Be S.A.F.E. campaign was created by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to raise awareness of and help prevent deaths caused by anaphylaxis, the medical term for severe allergic emergencies that affect up to 40 million Americans.
"Many deaths from anaphylaxis are preventable with immediate medical attention," said allergist Phil Lieberman, M.D., co-chair of the Be S.A.F.E. campaign. "For some, especially those with asthma, it can take just 1 to 2 minutes for a mild allergic reaction to escalate to anaphylaxis. That’s why it’s critical for people to know how to take action."
To help you know what to do during an allergic emergency, allergists and emergency physicians created the Be S.A.F.E. action guide which outlines steps to take during and after an allergic emergency.
"Emergency physicians are on the front lines treating severe allergic reactions that people often mistake for some other crisis, like a panic attack," said emergency physician Wyatt Decker, M.D., co-chair of the Be S.A.F.E. campaign. "The millions of people at risk for these allergic reactions need to understand the importance of learning everything they can about their condition by following up with an allergist for a diagnosis and a disease management plan.
The Be S.A.F.E. campaign includes a quick reference card for physicians (see the health professionals section of this website) with information on clinical criteria, observation time considerations and action steps to educate patients.
Allergist Clifford W. Bassett, a member of the ACAAI public relations committee and a former emergency room physician, said the significance of physician collaboration to help patients understand anaphylaxis cannot be underestimated. "It is important that emergency physicians and allergists work closely together to educate the public about anaphylaxis and other severe allergic reactions and ensure that patients receive appropriate follow up with a specialist," said Bassett.
About the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.