Posts Tagged ‘anaphylaxis’

This tragic story of an 18 year old student who died of an anaphylactic allergic reaction AFTER she warned the waiter of her allergies AND the waiter checked with the kitchen.


But she’s still dead.

We do not seek to pre-judge the deliberation and findings from this particular case before the coroner, at all, but in a general sense it can hardly be stressed enough the duty of care required of anyone who gives or sells food to another person.

Restaurants, specifically, have to protect the recipient from even touching, let alone ingesting, food containing problematic ingredients, or contaminated with them.

In an industry bedevilled with casual staffing arrangements, this is fiendishly tricky, but people simply have to take it seriously.

Quite apart from the moral responsibility, losing a criminal or civil case that resulted from a matter like this could result in imprisonment, fines, massive damages, or both.

It also highlights the absolute need for people who suffer from extreme allergies to keep their Epi-pens up to date.

Very sad. Very scary.

As the parent of an anaphylactic child (who has safely made it to 26, so far, fingers crossed) we protected her by building up her self-confidence to say “No”, and by simply not trusting wait staff and kitchens to take the matter seriously.

We lost track of the time, with eggs, for example, when she was offered cakes and biscuits, where the response to our worried enquiry “Er … wasn’t that made with eggs?” was met with dumb ignorance.

Sometimes a list of ingredients would be produced – good idea – and we would point to “Albumin” on the list. What about that? “Dunno mate, what is it?” “Um … egg white?” “No, really?”

So when she travelled round Europe as a young adult, we equipped her with a laminated explanation of her allergies and how seriously they needed to be treated, in a variety of languages to suit every country she was visiting. A total pain for a footloose youngster to have to brandish wherever she ate, to be sure, but then again she made it home alive.

Shahida didn’t.

epi pen

We have no words. Her supervisor needs counselling – or sacking – and the company – all companies – need to have training for their staff in how to handle these situations, not just for their staff, but for their customers.

As for the suggestion that every retail premise should have an Epi-Pen, that’s very sensible.

People can have a FIRST anaphylactic attack and die. Read the story here:

Plea to parents over schoolgirl s peanut allergy
An allergic reaction has ruined a Victorian girl’s first day of prep school.

Little Amelie had a very severe allergic reaction after playing with another child who had been in contact with nuts.

The little girl developed a terribly swollen and puffy face – a common symptom of nut allergies – and was sent home early on her first day of school.

A photo of Amelie’s reaction has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook. The pic is above.

Natalie Giorgio

13 year old Natalie Giorgio died after eat a Rice cookie made with peanut butter

Amelie’s mother has urged parents to stop packing nuts in lunch-boxes amid fears a child will die. It is a call we are glad to back, for reasons that will become clear. Her mum said;

“Amelie is anaphylactic to peanuts and although she didn’t eat her fellow students peanuts, simply played with another child who had snacked on peanuts during lunch,” she said in a warning to parents on Facebook.

“Peanut oil stays on the skin and is easily rubbed into the eyes or mouth. A simple sharing of pencils or a game of ring-a-rosy is all you need to pass on the nut oil. I sympathise with parents of children who are allergy free, that it’s difficult to remember not to pack nut-based snacks for school. But please, this message is from one of those annoying parents of a child with anaphylaxis, because I don’t want my child to die. Like Amelie, who loves to eat all nuts / tree nuts (just not peanuts) perhaps this very nutritious snack of nuts is better left for home.”

Amelie has since, thankfully, made a full recovery. But it could have been terrifyingly worse.

Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

Just half a cookie made with peanut oil killed 19-year-old Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick

As you can see from the cases quoted here, allergies can be murderous at any age. As our family knows all too well.

In the Wellthisiswhatithink world, Ms Wellthisiswhatithink Jnr was born 1,000 times more allergic to egg than the average human being. For her entire life thus far, at least until the allergy started ebbing away somewhat thanks to the attention of a naturopath – read that amazing story here – her mother and I – and her, herself, of course – have had to exercise rigorous vigilance to prevent her ingesting even tiny amounts of egg that could kill her.

She goes everywhere, even to this day, with an Epi-pen to deal with any anaphylactic attack.

But that wouldn’t be too hard, would it, avoiding egg?

Cookies, breads, scones, wine that’s been clarified with egg white, cakes, cake topping, fudge, pies, ice cream, protein drinks, pastries, pancakes, custard, crackers, mayonnaise, sauces, fried rice, egg noodles … I could (and nearly did) go on, but you get the point …

(And try explaining it to an “ethnic” non-English speaking restaurant’s waiting staff, just quietly … we got quite skilled at that.)

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted two years ago by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Sale, Greater Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

The dangers of eating peanuts in takeaway meals was highlighted by the tragic death of student Emma Egerton. The 18-year-old from Manchester, who had a severe nut allergy, ordered a chicken tikka korma through a website, unaware that it contained peanuts. She suffered a severe allergic reaction after one mouthful, was unconscious by the time paramedics arrived and died later that night.

Nut allergies are more common than egg, especially peanuts. It really seems very sensible for schools to ask parents to avoid putting them in kids’ lunch boxes. it’s a tiny dietary imposition which could well save lives.

If you agree that nuts should be kept out of lunch boxes, may I suggest you write to your local school? And if you’ve got kids at school, just adopt the restriction yourself, of course? Sure, it’s mildly annoying, but not as annoying as a dead kid.

Amelie, and many others, will thank you.

If ordering take away food, be damn sure you state “no peanuts” explicitly if you need to. Research shows they are often substituted for other, more expensive nuts, such as almonds. And if someone passes you a snack, just politely refuse unless you can read the packet.

Meanwhile, here’s an excellent resource for parents: