Food Allergy Research

New Study: Following Up with an Allergist Benefits Anaphylaxis Patients

A new study published in JACI: In Practice finds that patients who visit an allergist/immunologist after being treated for anaphylaxis in the emergency department (ED) receive a more accurate diagnosis, which can lead to more effective management of their allergy. This is the first study to examine how a follow-up visit affects outcomes in patients who receive emergency treatment for potentially life-threatening reactions.

Ronna L. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) analyzed the records of 573 patients who were evaluated in an ED for an anaphylactic reaction. After their ED visit, 217 patients followed up with an allergist/immunologist. Most of these patients (67 percent) underwent some type of testing. Anaphylaxis was ruled out in 16 patients. The allergist/immunologist was able to identify the trigger of the reaction in 74 patients whose trigger was unknown after evaluation in the ED. Of the 143 patients who had a suspected trigger during their ED evaluation, nine had a different trigger identified during the follow-up visit.  The most common trigger identified by the allergist/immunologist was food, followed by medication.

Overall, after evaluation by an allergist/immunologist, either the diagnosis of anaphylaxis or the identification of the trigger of the reaction was changed in 77 patients. In addition, four patients were diagnosed with a mast cell activation disorder. “These results underscore the importance of allergy/immunology follow-up after an ED visit for anaphylaxis,” the authors conclude. Improving follow-up rates, they add, would help ensure that anaphylaxis triggers are identified accurately. Helping patients understand exactly which triggers to avoid decreases the risk of re-exposure to allergens and prevents unnecessary avoidance. In addition, patients can benefit from additional education and advice, including assistance in developing an anaphylaxis action plan and completing documentation for school, work or travel.


5 thoughts on “New Study: Following Up with an Allergist Benefits Anaphylaxis Patients

  1. Reblogged this on free2bake and commented:
    Here is some number-proof of what we know is true! Sadly some of us don’t have allergy clinics at our local hospitals and have to push for referrals. I went to my GP – he was amazing – referred my son and we have received INCREDIBLE help and understanding as a result – the biggest revelation being that although Aars does not get hay fever he has an INSANE allergy to Silver Birch Pollen – which has 29 allergens in it many of which relate to foods he was reacting against! Life changing for him (and me – as he is 10). Fear factor from not understanding is diminished. Understanding of the possible issues means he is now safer too. Fight to get your children seen by an allergy clinic if they have been admitted to hospital for anaphylaxis! It IS worth it!

  2. After fifteen years with severe oral food allergies and trying to find a doctor who understands this disorder, I can honestly say, no one knows what to do. I have been to every allergist and alternative medicine practitioner in this and the bordering county, and to the University of California at San Francisco, and no one can help.

    Most general practitioners and allergist do not believe the oral food allergies can be such a problem. One doctor says he has been in practice over 25 years and never heard of such a thing as an oral food allergy. I fired him right then and there.

    Needless to say, after fifteen years of dealing with the disorder I seem to know a great deal more about food allergies than any doctor in three separate counties. The same doctors have said not to come back because there is nothing they can do. As it is I have taken the RAST test numerous times and all have come back positive as to which foods they tested.

    An emergency trip to the hospital, not related to my food allergies, I was diagnosed with a dangerous sinus infection which threatened to do permanent damage to my eyesight. The emergency room doctor wanted to prescribe an antibiotic and I gave him a list of the medications to which I know I am dangerously allergic. He came up with a new one and wanted me to try it. Instead of taking the capsule I asked the nurse to empty the contents into a small cup and I put the tip of my finger into the substance and dabbed a tiny bit of it gently on my lower lip.

    Within a few minutes my lip was swelling, and my tongue was getting very sore. I took 50mg of Benadryl, waited a few minutes and had to take 25mg more Benadryl before I started to get some relief from the discomfort. Just before I left the emergency room the doctor actually thanked me for teaching him how to test for an allergy to a medication. I also told him that even if I took the medication at the hospital and did not react right away that as soon as the medicine started to dissolve in my stomach or upper intestine I would most likely be in serious trouble with anaphylaxis and have to use my epi-pen and come back to the hospital. I am not saying this was the perfect way, but it has worked in every instance I have used this technique.

    Unfortunately, Oral Food Allergies can put quite a kink in one’s life. But this is another long story which I won’t go into at this time. My fight has been going on for fifteen years, and at my age of 69 years, I doubt there will be anything that even comes close to a cure in what years I have left in this world. Right now, avoidance is the only treatment available.

    Thank you all for listening.


    1. Good Evening Everyone!

      Yes I’m late in the game but thank you all for the interesting article and comments.

      Jean, so sorry to hear of your awful allergies. I hope you are well and enjoying a lovely summer of less allergies.

      I’m in San Francisco and was wondering if you know of any immunologists in the area familiar with mast cell activation please?

      Much appreciated and hope you have been successful in achieving better health and a supportive medical team.

      Peace, take good care and have a splendid weekend!
      Caroline 🙂

  3. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate recognition and intervention. Basic equipment and medication should be readily available in the physician’s office. What a great post.

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