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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Treatment of Adult Anaphylaxis Deficient

According to a recent survey* many primary care and emergency physicians aren't treating anaphylaxis appropriately and aren't taking the necessary preventative measures.  Physician interviews revealed that many doctors don't always provide epinephrine to patients they believe are anaphylactic, often fail to refer these patients for follow-up, and believe erroneously that some of these patients shouldn't receive epi pens. Additional disturbing findings of this survey include that physicians rarely reported ordering or referring patients for diagnostic tests aimed at identifying the reaction's cause, they almost never demonstrated use of an auto-injector, and seldom explained that auto-injectors have an expiration date. Furthermore, many physicians of all types -- even the allergists -- mistakenly believed that some patients should never receive epinephrine.
The national guidelines state explicitly that there are no absolute contraindications to epinephrine. What can be done to reverse this state of affairs? 
source: article in  
*based on these studies:
Primary source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Source reference:
Wood R, et al "Anaphylaxis in America: Results from a national physician survey" ACAAI 2012.
Additional source: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Source reference:
Chouksey A, et al "Management of anaphylaxis: are we compliant with the guidelines?" ACAAI 2012.
Thank You to a reader with severe food allergies in Atlanta, GA for bringing this disturbing study to my attention


  1. There are some great resources online about anaphylaxis, but none of them really get to the heart of the matter like the anaphylaxis page on the FAAN website:

    Equally important, the FAAN Food Allergy Action Plan is a free, printable worksheet with clear instructions on exactly what to do in the case of an allergic reaction. It works for adults as well as children, and can be found at

  2. Thanks so much. Yes, that is a great resource.