Study Reveals Alarming Gaps in Medication Prescriptions for Food Anaphylaxis Patients

by Ella

A recent study examining approximately 130,000 National Health Service (NHS) records mentioning food allergies has uncovered worrisome disparities in the prescription of vital medication for patients who have suffered from food anaphylaxis. The investigation, carried out by Dr. Paul Turner, a clinical scientist from the National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London, and Professor Adam Fox, a consultant pediatric allergist at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, has spurred concerns regarding the adequate provision of life-saving medication for those at risk.

Among the NHS records analyzed, which encompassed a period from 2008 to 2018, the study identified 3,589 patients who received “unplanned hospital treatment” for anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Shockingly, only 2,152 of these individuals were prescribed adrenaline auto-injectors (AAI), such as the commonly recognized EpiPen, at least once.


Anaphylaxis is characterized by rapid and severe allergic reactions, often indicated by itchy skin, raised red rashes, and swelling of the eyes, lips, hands, and feet. Prompt administration of an AAI during an anaphylactic episode can significantly increase the likelihood of a swift recovery.


The critical implications of these findings have led Dr. Turner and Prof. Fox to develop an informative leaflet aimed at raising awareness among patients, their families, caregivers, and friends about the importance of proper medication and care for individuals with food allergies.


The “Food Rescue – AYNI” project, a collaborative effort involving ADRA Peru, the World Food Program (WFP), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has played a pivotal role in addressing the post-COVID-19 food crisis in Peru. Its core mission revolves around food rescue and minimizing waste.


Since its initiation in February 2023, the project has garnered substantial support from various companies, leading to the establishment of a mobile food transportation unit capable of carrying 4.5 tons of food. Notably, this initiative has distributed an impressive 200 tons of food, benefiting over 13,700 individuals. It has also provided essential training to “ollas comunes” (common pots) on nutrition, safe food handling, and efficient organizational management.

The “ollas comunes” serve as community-managed spaces where food assistance is provided to vulnerable individuals who may lack the financial means to procure daily meals independently.

Central to the project’s success is its volunteer program, boasting over 100 dedicated volunteers from the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These volunteers, predominantly women, have actively participated in rescuing surplus food from markets and supermarkets, subsequently facilitating its distribution to “ollas comunes” located in impoverished areas within the districts of Villa María del Triunfo and Pachacámac, both situated in Lima.

In conclusion, the “Food Rescue – AYNI” project represents a significant step toward addressing food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, concerns remain regarding the prescription of life-saving medication for food anaphylaxis patients, prompting a call for greater awareness and preparedness in managing severe allergic reactions.



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