Call for better anaphylaxis care9th April 2009
The Royal College of Physicians has warned that better access to NHS allergy services is needed for people who have suffered an anaphylactic reaction.
Over the past 10 years, the number of people needing hospital treatment for anaphylaxis caused by things like peanut allergies or insect stings has risen significantly.
Figures show that in 1997/98, 551 people were admitted to hospital after an anaphylactic reaction from food. However, by 2007/08 that had risen to 1,104. Anaphylactic reactions for unspecified reasons rose from 706 to 1,777 during the same period.
Guidelines and recommendations from the RCP, based on advice from the Resuscitation Council, indicate that such patients should be referred to a specialist allergy clinic.
The college says healthcare professionals need to be able to spot anaphylaxis signs early on, offer early treatment and give an adrenaline injection if required.
Patients should also be followed up after discharge from hospital and referred to a specialist allergy clinic to identify the cause and reduce the risk of future reactions.
Dr Jasmeet Soar, co-chair of the Royal College of Physicians Working Group on Anaphylaxis, said: "Someone who has this sort of reaction needs confirmation it's an allergic reaction, then we need to find out what caused it and how to avoid it the next time so they need to be properly followed up by a specialist."
The Anaphylaxis Campaign said there was still a shortage of allergy services for patients to be referred to while Allergy UK noted people were well-treated by A&E but discharged without any support.
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Title: Call for better anaphylaxis care
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 10932
Date Added: 9th Apr 2009