Quick Clip: How to best treat patients with food allergies

Hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson seek clarity on best practices for treating anaphylaxis patients after Chicago’s Food Allergy Research and Education Summit

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In this week’s Inside EMS podcast quick clip, hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss an overview from the Food Allergy Research and Education Summit held in Chicago, and seek clarity on best practices to for treating allergic reactions.

“Every 3.30 seconds, a child enters an emergency room with a food-induced allergy,” Cebollero said.  “And that just really kind of blew my mind when I heard that.”  

The conference brought together allergists, ER doctors, pharmacists, and other providers who all talked about how to take care of anaphylaxis patients — and what that even means.

“With all the healthcare professionals that were in the room, we couldn’t come to consensus on what the definition of anaphylaxis was,” Cebollero said.

Experts suggested that rather than giving epinephrine subcutaneously in the arm, it should be given intramuscularly in the leg followed by a massage for 30 seconds. They also said that Benadryl should not be considered an emergency treatment drug for allergic reactions.  

“You and I talk about the dogma of EMS, and the things that we’ve done without any real support” Cebollero said. “And I’ve got to tell you, I come out of Chicago, and I say, this is just — add it to the list.”

Grayson also wondered if food allergies have really spiked tremendously in recent years, or we’re just hearing more about it.

“Are we starting to become less robust people, now that we’ve started bubble wrapping our kids for the last generation or so?” Grayson asked. “Or, were these food allergies prevalent all the time, and we’re just hearing about it now more from social media and the 24-hour news cycle?”

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