Are you surprised to see a picture of medication?!
I was when I read the story on Webmd!
I am allergic to seafood, and Son #2 is allergic to tree nuts. And I have read plenty of stories about people who are allergic to peanuts and have had a severe allergic reaction. In fact, some allergic reactions are so severe (anaphylaxis), that they can cause death.
When I think of someone having an allergic reaction, I usually think they ate something that caused anaphylaxis.
But not so fast!!
In the Webmd article, a group of researchers looked at deaths certificates from 1999-2010 from the
U. S. National Mortality Data Base. They found almost 2,500 deaths from anaphylaxis, and they tried to figure out what caused the deaths.
The results of the study were surprising. They found that:
- 59% of deaths were from medications
- 7 % were from food
- 15% were from venom (insect bite or sting)
- 19% didn't specify the cause
The study also says that:
"The drug that caused the reaction wasn't identified in 75 percent of the deaths. When the responsible drug was identified, it was an antibiotic in 40 percent of the cases, Jerschow found. The next most common allergy-inducing drugs were radiocontrast agents, which are used during diagnostic imaging tests, followed by chemotherapy medications to treat cancer, the study reported. "
Most MRIs and chemotherapy treatments are done in a hospital, so you should be able to get emergency care if that happens.
The important thing is to recognize anaphylaxis. Mayo Clinic says:
"Anaphylaxis symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen. Sometimes, however, anaphylaxis can occur a half-hour or longer after exposure. Anaphylaxis symptoms include":
- "Skin reactions, including hives along with itching, and flushed or pale skin (almost always present with anaphylaxis)
- A feeling of warmth
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
- Constriction of the airways and a swollen tongue or throat, which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting"
Mayo Clinic also says: "Seek emergency medical help if you, your child or someone else you're with has a severe allergic reaction."
Hopefully you won't ever experience anaphylaxis. But, I believe knowledge is power. So knowing what can cause a severe allergic reaction is helpful. I'll tuck the information in the back of my brain (and hope I never need to use it!)