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Anaphylaxis Often Requires Repeat Epinephrine Treatment

Boston study highlights need for at-risk children to carry two doses of self-injectable epinephrine

TUESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In children with food-related anaphylaxis who received epinephrine prior to arrival at an emergency department, 12 percent received a second dose after arrival, according to a review published online March 22 in Pediatrics.

Susan A. Rudders, M.D., of Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues conducted a medical chart review of 605 pediatric cases presenting to Boston emergency departments for food-related acute allergic reactions between Jan. 1, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2006.

The researchers found that 52 percent of the cases met diagnostic criteria for food-related anaphylaxis. Of these, 31 percent received one dose of epinephrine and 3 percent received more than one dose of epinephrine before their arrival at the emergency department. Among children presenting to the emergency department with food-related anaphylaxis who received epinephrine, 12 percent received a second dose.

"This finding supports the recommendation that children at risk for food-related anaphylaxis carry two doses of self-injectable epinephrine," the authors conclude. "Given that children often require medications in multiple locations, consideration should be given to cost-saving approaches such as having unassigned second doses available at schools and day cares."

One author reported a financial relationship with Dey, including a grant that partly supported the present study.

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