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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (May 4, 2015) - Allergic reactions kill at least 2 people a day in the United States – usually after exposure to insect sting, medications or certain foods, like peanuts, shellfish and egg. Misunderstandings and myths abound about the life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. But most deaths can be prevented when people recognize the symptoms and know the immediate treatment needed to survive.
To increase awareness of anaphylaxis, Allergy & Asthma Network and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology have partnered to bring the Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACEs) educational program to communities throughout the U.S. ACE volunteers present community awareness programs to schools, hospital grand rounds, PTA meetings, medical offices, Scouting organizations, EMS, fire and police departments, and more. The ACE program is sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.
“The first line of treatment is early administration of epinephrine. Most fatalities from anaphylaxis occur outside the home, especially when treatment is delayed,” says board certified allergist Stanley Fineman, MD, MBA, past president of ACAAI, ACE faculty member and volunteer. “Our goal is to show parents, teachers, school nurses, emergency responders and others how to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis symptoms the moment they begin. Our goal is to save lives.”
Anaphylaxis is a rapid-onset, whole-body, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can happen to anyone at any time, but is more commonly experienced among people with risk factors. There are three major risk factors for fatal anaphylaxis:
- Allergic reaction to food, stinging insects or medications
- Presence or history of asthma symptoms
- Delay in administration of epinephrine
The affected person may experience cardiovascular shock and/or serious respiratory compromise.
“What causes the allergic reaction? The answer may not be what you think. See an allergist. Get a strategy and reduce anxieties associated with anaphylaxis,” says Tonya Winders, CEO and President of Allergy & Asthma Network. “All fifty states protect students’ rights to carry and use epinephrine auto-injectors. We have resources to help them and families coordinate students’ needs.”
Every child at risk should have an anaphylaxis action plan on file with all schools and caregivers. The plan should list symptoms and state that immediate action can be life-saving and outline what to do in order of importance.
To request an ACE awareness presentation for your group, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/outreach/anaphylaxis-community-experts-aces/.
The national, award-winning Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) program is developed by Allergy & Asthma Network in partnership with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.
About Allergy & Asthma Network
Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating needless suffering and death due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. www.AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org