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Friday, August 2, 2013

Teenager dies in her father's arm from peanut allergy

(Shutterstock image)

What a sad story, this strikes fear in the heart of parents everywhere who have a child with food allergies. It's your worse nightmare come true :(

The story was on Yahoo news, and came from a TV station in Carmichael California. 13 year old Natalie Giorgi was having a snack at Camp Sacramento with her friends and family. It was dark and she couldn't see the food that well. She took a bite of a Rice Krispie treat, but it was iced with peanut butter and chocolate on the top. She quickly spit it out, but that little taste was enough to cause anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest, with lead to her death. The Mayo Clinic has more information about anaphylaxis.

I know what it's like to have to carefully inspect food anytime I eat at a family gathering, church outing, work party, restaurant, etc. I have a seafood allergy and Son #2 has a tree nut allergy. We both carry Epi Pens. Just in case. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) has a list of the 8 most common food allergies.

It's sad that Natalie Giorgi couldn't be saved, but anaphylaxis happens very fast. Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) has a fact sheet about anaphylaxis. For food allergies, it can be as little as 30 minutes from exposure to respiratory or cardiac arrest (which usually results in death.) A venom allergy (insect sting) can cause death in 15 minutes, and a drug allergy can cause death in as little as 5 minutes.

The scary part about all of this? Natalie left behind a twin sister-she is also allergic to peanuts.

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