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Did your doctor send you home without an Epi-Pen* ?

40 replies [Last post]
By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Thu, 09-27-01, 15:10

Please post to help educate those doctor's who need more education on peanut allergy (many are reading these discussion boards and contacting us here at the office)(pediatricians and board certified allergists included).

Also this will help others who were not told about Epi-Pens* and why they are so important. (many contact us and tell us they were just sent home and told not to eat peanuts).

Please feel free to add your comments on this topic!

Stay Safe,

[email][email protected][/email]

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By Lam on Thu, 09-27-01, 15:28


It was 3 1/2 years ago, but the best I can recall is we were told about avoiding the P/TN but not about the cross-contamination. I specifically remember that we treated our son to an ice cream (Baskin Robbins) right after the appointment!!! GASP!!!

After talking to a couple people who knew people w/PA, we were alerted to the cross-contam. issue. I called the allergist's office to confirm this possibility, and was then told that cross-contam. was definitely something to avoid. Oh yeah, we were given the videos to watch, too (It Only Takes One Bite and Alexander).

We were not given an Epi - I don't think. I DO remember going directly to the pharmacy to get the script filled for 2 Epis, though.
If I find out for sure, I'll edit.

Take care,

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By Beth on Thu, 09-27-01, 15:41

Yes, epipen wasn't even mentioned. "Stay away from peanuts" was pretty much it.(13-14 yrs ago) I found the Food Allergy Network on my own, along with 99% of what I know about peanut allergy. My newest concern is how to get my daughter a CAP rast test. We recently dropped the allergist, and now just have the pediatrician. She gave us what we needed for the new school year, but was no help as far as the blood test. My daughter has NEVER had blood drawn for this, only has had skin tests, the 2nd set just a year or so ago. Of course she was still + for peanuts. I told the ped this and she said "well she ovbiously is still allergic because of the skin reaction". I feel like we don't have all the info we need, yet I'm not sure how to get it!

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By Leahtard on Thu, 09-27-01, 16:55

Boy this sounds familiar. My dd's allergist told us this just 2 weeks ago, just to keep her away from peanuts and she didn't need an epi-pen, I thought this was very odd since she has seasonal asthma as well and everything I have read up on so far said it would increase your risk for an allergic reaction with both of these symptoms. Needless to say we will not be going back to this office, the whole trip was annoying and disappointing as well.

Leah mom to PA dd Miah (almost 2)

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By Cayley's Mom on Thu, 09-27-01, 17:49

When Cayley had her 1st anaphylactic reaction, the ER doctor told us, since there was no swelling, only hives and vomiting, that we didn't need an EpiPen. He didn't refer us to an allergist and just told us to avoid peanuts.

We went to our family doctor the next day to try to get an allergist referral anyway, and his office was less than co-operative. Cayley was not quite 3 years old, and my family doctor thought she was too young for testing. I finally had to call the allergist's office myself, to ask about how old a child must be to be tested. The allergist phoned my family doctor to set up an appt., and said they test younger children than Cayley all the time.

Our allergist was fine (we saw him 2 months after the incident). He wrote a script right away for 2 EpiPens, emphasizing the serious nature of her allergy based on the size of the wheal from the skin test, and based on her reaction at the ER.

But what if I had listened to both the ER doctor and my family doctor and had not pressed ahead for testing? And how many people encounter this situation every day? See all the misinformation given to me in my post and to the others in the ones above?Definitely more education needed across the board for doctors regarding life-threatening allergies.

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By MattsMom on Sat, 09-29-01, 05:37

When Matt had his first known reaction to peanuts (severe facial swelling after touching pb to his mouth), I mentioned it to his GP at his 6mo well-baby check-up. Nothing at all was said. When Matt had his 2nd reaction to peanuts (hands and face began to swell, runny nose, sneezing, itchy/watery/puffy eyes, and poss itchy mouth after only holding a bite of a pb+j) I brought it up at his 12mo well baby check-up, along with a question. I had heard that a friend of a friend had a "shot-pen" for her son because he was allergic to peanuts which was "one of the worst things to be allergic to". So after I told him about the reaction, the GP said (and I quote!) "no more pb+j sandwhiches for him, then, huh?". Then I asked if Matt needed a "shot-pen". I was told that no, he did not, and that even if he did, they didn't come in the right strength for my then 12mo, 22lb son.

Almost a year went by, and then I literally happened upon this site one night. I got educated REAL quick. Within 2wks I had gotten the kids covered on insurance so that we could get in to an allergist. I switched drs and Matt had his initial visit w/ the new PEDIATRICIAN Nov 16, 2000. We walked out of her office with a prescription for 2 epipens and a referral to an allergist. She also showed us how to administer the epipen, using an epipen trainer that she keeps in her office for just such occasions. I simply LOVE our ped! =)

The first allergist visit went at least as well. She gave us a prescription for another 2 epipens so that we could keep one at grandma's, etc. She also recommended joining FAAN and seemed to know of (at least) this website. We watched a video on anaphylaxis and food allergies, though I'm not 100% sure of the title. It featured our allergist, Dr. Susan Rudd Wynn, of Ft. Worth, TX. She also gave us a few hand-outs on peanut allergy and went over briefly cross-contamination, hidden ingredients, etc. I really feel she would have covered things more in depth if we had not already been well-informed. (She could tell we were just by the stack of stuff I'd brought with me in case SHE wasn't. LOL)

The one area I'm not extremely satisfied with our allergist in is the CAP-RAST testing. From all I've heard/read/seen the CAP-RAST is very reliable and helpful in tracking peanut allergy and whether or not it has been outgrown. Not 100%, obviously, but pretty close. Our allergist, however, feels that the CAP-RAST testing is not all that reliable, that the skin testing is much better (though she would not test Matt for peanuts on the skin-prick as she did not want to risk a severe reaction...nor did we, so that was fine by us!), and that re-testing doesn't need to be done but every "few" years. Personally, I'd like to test the peanuts via CAP-RAST now, and then again every year or so.

Other than the CAP-RAST issue, I am totally satisfied with our allergist, as well. I think we've got a really great team going here to help keep Matt safe and healthy! =)

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By Renee111064 on Sun, 09-30-01, 02:11

WE were sent to a determologist for my son first since he had extreme eczema.

Drew had bad reactions to formula when he was a baby, he threw up everything until we tried Nutramagin(sp?) (predigested) formula.

Drew started seeing an allergist at one but he would not test Drew. Drew was skin tested when he was two. That is when I found out that he was allergic to nuts. I had never given peanut butter to him.

Right then and there the doctor told me that I am never to give him anything with nuts ever and gave me a script for an epi-pen and told me that I must get the epi-pen TODAY and always carry it everywhere Drew was. Drew was never tested for any of the tree nuts but I avoid them regardless.

The doctor thinks that he may outgrow his allergies to the many other foods, but told me that he most likely would not outgrow the nut allergy.

Best wishes to all,

Renee [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By rejubu on Mon, 10-01-01, 01:23

My dd had a skin test done mid August. The doctor said that she had a mild reaction to peanuts. Don't give her peanut butter. After finding this website and some others I called back and asked if I needed to be reading labels. He said "yes" in a tone that sounded to me that I should have known that answer. After calling the Health Department to try to find more information and having them ask about an Epi pen, I called the doctor back. I asked if she needed an Epi pen. His answer is no she has never had a reaction after having peanut butter. I told him that it was only ever offered once and she refused to eat it. Well he says she has had peanuts in candy bars. I explained to him that she has never had a candy bar because she is lactose intolerant and most candy bars have milk. DUH!!!! I feel like I am rambling but I am starting to have second thoughts about her allergist. He also told me that if I kept her away from all traces of peanuts for a year he would retest her and she will probably be okay. She goes to see her regular doctor for her 2 year old check up next week and I will discuss it with him. Thanks for listening. Julie

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By Leahtard on Mon, 10-01-01, 01:53

Julie your dd's allergist and my dd's sound the same, lol I already cancelled her follow visit there with him, I have found a great allergist since her visit that has a more serious attitude about PA. He actually told me that before he camein to see dd and I that the mom before us came in because her dd had an allergic reaction to milk and all he told her was she better keep her away from milk then, gee what a wise quote huh??

Leah [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Quote:Originally posted by rejubu:
[b]My dd had a skin test done mid August. The doctor said that she had a mild reaction to peanuts. Don't give her peanut butter. After finding this website and some others I called back and asked if I needed to be reading labels. He said "yes" in a tone that sounded to me that I should have known that answer. After calling the Health Department to try to find more information and having them ask about an Epi pen, I called the doctor back. I asked if she needed an Epi pen. His answer is no she has never had a reaction after having peanut butter. I told him that it was only ever offered once and she refused to eat it. Well he says she has had peanuts in candy bars. I explained to him that she has never had a candy bar because she is lactose intolerant and most candy bars have milk. DUH!!!! I feel like I am rambling but I am starting to have second thoughts about her allergist. He also told me that if I kept her away from all traces of peanuts for a year he would retest her and she will probably be okay. She goes to see her regular doctor for her 2 year old check up next week and I will discuss it with him. Thanks for listening. Julie[/b]

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By sbd on Mon, 10-15-01, 19:07

I called my daughter's ped when she began having a reaction to her first taste of PB at 12 1/2 months. He told us to give her Benadryl and then go to the ER. At the ER she received a shot, even though the Benadryl was beginning to bring some of the facial swelling down. The ER doctor told us to follow up with our pediatrician. Our ped ordered a blood panel that contained peanuts and several other common food allergens (milk, soy, shellfish...) She tested positive for peanuts only. He said to keep her away from peanuts and to play it safe that for now she should avoid food with any type of peanut warning (made in the same facility...) He said that we would test her again when she is four. I asked about an epi-pen and he said it wasn't necessary. After a few weeks, it bothered me that we did not get one. So I called and asked for one, and got it without issue. I said that I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. During her 18 month check-up I asked if I could have a few more to keep in the house, diaper bag... Again, I got these without a problem. He did caution me to stay on top of the expiration dates. We were never referred to an allergist andat this point I do not think it is necessary.

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By smack on Sat, 11-24-01, 20:06

With my son it was 4 months before his 3rd birthday when by accident he had a cookie with p.j. in it. We were holding off giving our twins p.j. or nuts, or shellfish under our doctors orders. This wasn't because of any food allergies we have either because we don't, (my husband has environmental only) but because she was educated with the newest research dealing with allergies.
When my son had his reaction, my new male doctor (we had to change because we moved) prescribed epipens told us how to use one and set us up with an appointment to see a allergist.
Sounds like common sense to me, why is there such a difference with the practices of what to do if an allergy is suspected?

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By on Thu, 03-28-02, 22:57

My daughter's first reaction at 1 1/2yrs old was hives. She ate a bit of pb&j. The doctor told me that "if she can eat plain m&ms, she probably does not have an actual allergy". He told me to not give her anything with peanuts in it. There was no discussion of label reading or cross-contamination.

I asked about getting her checked by an allergist. He said she did not need to be tested.

Her second reation was a touch reaction. She was spreading pb on bread because she liked thae action of spreading it on. She got hives. Nobody told me you could have a reaction without eating the product.

Her second pediatrician told me "keep her away from nuts". I asked about allergy testing again. He said she did not need it. No discussion about label reading, cross-contamination, etc.

At 3, she had an anaphylactic reaction. She accidentally got a peanutbutter candy. She spit it out but got really sick. At this point, nobody told us she could die from this allergy. We had no epi-pen.

Her doctor prescribed an epi-pen after I asked what I was supposed to do next time.
STILL no discussion on reading labels or cross-contamination.

When I found this site, my eyes were opened. I had to find out this stuff on my own. Maybe my daughter would have had a chance to outgrow this, if it had been taken seriously the first time.

I then took her to an allergist on my own. She also has asthma which her pediatrician dismissed. She now sees a pediatrician who is also an allergist.

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By ryan's mom on Mon, 04-01-02, 13:43

My son got "newborn acne" at 3 weeks like my other children, but his never went away. His eczema was terrible and I was at my wit's end with how to treat it. The pediatrician just said to moisturize with this and that, but there was puss oozing off of his crusted cheeks. I took him to another pediatrican for a second opinion and to a dermatologist. My son was exclusively breastfed during all of this and I started to suspect maybe it was something I was eating that was aggravating his condition. I eliminated chocolate for a while and nothing. Same with caffeine. Not once did any pediatrician mention anything about food allergies. This should have been a tipoff--severe eczema with an exclusively breastfed baby according to what I have read. At 18 mos., right out of the blue, he had a major respiratory problem which landed him in the hospital for two days. The diagnosis was pneumonia/bacterial infection. The only problem was the technician told us there wasn't any sign of infection according to the X-ray. After that there were many asthma attacks which we were told he would probably outgrow. Many seemed to occur during late fall, winter, and early spring. Some coincided with colds, some didn't and just occurred right out of the blue. Still, no mention of food alergies. At his 3-year old physical, I mentioned I thought he was having a problem with peanuts. The doctor was initially skeptical, however, once I told her of two violent vomiting incidents, she replied, "Gosh, I hope not. That's an awful allergy." She wrote me out a prescription for one epipen and gave me a referral for an allergist, but nothing else. I filled it and left the epipen in my hall closet on the top shelf. My doctor never told me how to use one, and never told me to always have it with Ryan. Three weeks later, the allergist set me straight on what to do and pointed me in the right direction--very helpful, informative, and knowledgable. However, peanutallergy.com has been the best source of information on how to deal with this on a daily basis.

So, the epipen was initially prescribed, but with no education on how to use it, and the importance of the medication was never conveyed to me. It didn't matter that the prescription was filled, because it was never with me. What good would it do if we were at a restaurant and had a problem, since the epipen was at home in our hall closet. The plus side, however, was that she immediate sent us to the allergist for a skin test.

[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited April 01, 2002).]

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By Corvallis Mom on Wed, 04-03-02, 05:49

We consider ourselves lucky that our daughter's first reaction at 11 months old was not her last. She experienced what all three of our subsequent allergists have unequivocably diagnosed as full anaphylaxis. She was treated by the nurses with oral Benadryl only at our small town ER. The only "examination" that was made of our swollen, terrified, welt-covered infant was listening to her lung sounds with a stethescope (nope- no wheezing...everything must be fine...). She was limp and lethargic, which we pointed out to the nursing staff. It was not until nearly an hour after the Benadryl that the physician actually LOOKED at our daughter. We told the staff repeatedly that she was experiencing a reaction to peanut butter (trust me- this was pretty obvious given the speed and severity of this reaction... we didn't call 911 only because we lived 1 block from the ER).

Anyway, we were told to assiduously avoid peanut products by the extremely competent attending physician, who made us promise that we would see our pediatrician immediately and keep dosing our daughter with Benadryl and watch for secondary symptoms. BUT- we still left the ER that morning without any idea how to treat anaphylaxis ourselves- much less any way to do it. Our pediatrician, (God Bless you Dr. Manu!) gave us a referral to the best pediatric allergist in the Twin Cities and information about FAAN. He told us he would talk to her about whether or not we needed epinephrine. Unfortunately, he based this decision on the hospital chart- rather than what actually happened that morning. We had an epipen just a week later. Thank heaven that our pediatrician was recently from a Saint Louis ER rotation- he had SEEN peanut anaphylaxis before and knew the seriousness of the situation. Again, our daughter has a phenomenal guardian angel. We took her to her grandfather's home four states away for a week and also took her to a scientific meeting with us before that appointment three weeks later. We fed her from salad bars and fast food restaurants on those trips. We were very nearly clueless, and we certainly had no idea about her other food allergies at all.
Still wonder whether we really need epinephrine? We have seen our daughter break out in recurrent hives from tiny amounts of products that manufacturers claim "cannot possibly" be cross-contaminated, from touching an apparently contaminated library book, and from being near bulk peanuts poured into a bin in a supermarket. She has had an anaphylaxis incident that four medical professionals (and we) cannot attribute a cause to.

As a parent and an atopic patient myself, I beg all physicians to educate themselves about anaphylaxis. Really educate yourself- it doesn't *always* have ANY one particular feature, even airway involvement. And a peanut allergy can produce it at any time in any allergic patient. There is simply NO HARM in providing epinephrine to a patient without contraindications- they will certainly not use it unless they think it necessary. First do no harm, right? It is extremely harmful to be ignorant about this, even when your intentions are good, as our doctors' were.
We should have expected food allergies- they are rampant in both families, and our exclusively breastfed infant had eczema from her first weeks of life. We reluctantly began introducing foods when she was five months old. WE certainly knew she was at higher risk... so we proceeded slowly and didn't notice any problems...we thought we were out of the woods once she didn't have nay problems with wheat- funny how she just kept "spitting up" though. We knew she had a dairy sensitivity- and so did our doctor. We were NEVER told to avoid nuts, eggs, or fish. I distinctly recall our pediatrician asking at 11 months old whether we had introduced egg yolk yet. It is difficult for me to understand how standard pediatric training doesn't include better guidelines for preventative care in children from highly atopic families.

I don't mean to sound so critical. We have recieved some truly outstanding care and have learned our lesson- we all see the same family practice doctor now so he has a better family history. I just wish that more doctors were better prepared to help us.


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By Love my C on Thu, 04-04-02, 04:42

My son's pediatrician did not prescribe an epi-pen for us. This may because we discovered his peanut allergy through a RAST blood test at 2 yrs. of age, not because he suffered a reaction. I had wanted to know what he might be allergic to. He took amoxicillin at 5 months of age and broke out in hives after 8 days on the medicine. And we knew he was either lactose intolerant or milk allergic due to problems with formula. I wanted him tested before I gave him peanut butter. So when the RAST results came back showing a Level 2 allergy to peanuts she said he was mildly allergic and not to give him peanuts. I had no idea what mildly allergic meant.

A year and a half later, he broke out in hives on his face after skin contact with dad who had eaten peanuts earlier in the day.

After meeting with an allergist we did come home with a prescription for 2 epi-pens. We were encouraged to join FAAN and get a medic alert bracelet.

After testing a 4+ on the skin test the allergist pointed out that we don't really know if my son is allergic to peanuts as he has not ingested any, but that we will assume he is allergic because of the skin test and the contact reaction he had. I asked at what point am I to use the epi-pen jr. Am I to just give him Benadryl if he were to have a similar reaction (hives only) and wait to see if the reaction gets worse? The doctor said that I should use the epi-pen because my son also has asthma. He basically said better to be safe than sorry.

Then there is the family physician who didn't seem to be able to understand my stress about having a peanut allergic 3 year old with asthma and thinking about sending him to preschool. He said, "you just avoid peanuts and they will give him allergy shots." UGH!

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By Askosrose on Wed, 04-10-02, 23:03

I feel very thankful for having such a wonderful allergist. We found out about my son's tree nut and shellfish allergy when I took him for a scratch test.

The doctor perscribed two Epi-Pens immediately. He also recommended a book he co-authored, which educates people on asthma and allergies. I couldn't be happier with the care my son is getting.

Karen [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By momjd on Thu, 04-11-02, 04:10

Which book??? (I'm just curious)

Our allergist did give us the prescription and told us to join FAAN. BUT we did not walk away realizing how dangerous the allergy was. I didn't realize the dangers until I found this site. He was very hands off- join FAAN, join a support group and they'll tell you what you need to know. (Funny I thought that was his job).

I still see posts on other allergy boards from moms whose children have been tested and diagnosed but who haven't been told even the basics. I'm talking kids who are anaphylactic to milk proteins passed through breastmilk whose mothers haven't even been told that there are other names for milk! I also frequently see posts from parents who have allergist who refuse to prescribe an epi (these are children with pa). One mom was told that the allergist wouldn't write a scrip unless her child had experienced a previous bad reaction. He wanted to "wait and see" how she would react! I think for some parents the best information they get is from sites like this, which is really sad. Thank goodness they have this resource.

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By momjd on Thu, 04-11-02, 04:12

Which book??? (I'm just curious)

Our allergist did give us the prescription and told us to join FAAN. BUT we did not walk away realizing how dangerous the allergy was. I didn't realize the dangers until I found this site. He was very hands off- join FAAN, join a support group and they'll tell you what you need to know. (Funny I thought that was his job).

I still see posts on other allergy boards from moms whose children have been tested and diagnosed but who haven't been told even the basics. I'm talking kids who are anaphylactic to milk proteins passed through breastmilk whose mothers haven't even been told that there are other names for milk! I also frequently see posts from parents who have allergist who refuse to prescribe an epi (these are children with pa). One mom was told that the allergist wouldn't write a scrip unless her child had experienced a previous bad reaction. He wanted to "wait and see" how she would react! I think for some parents the best information they get is from sites like this, which is really sad. Thank goodness they have this resource.

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By Askosrose on Thu, 04-11-02, 17:05

Hi there. The book is called the Canadian Allergy & Asthma Handbook, and it's published by Random House. There are several authors the main name is Dr. Zimmerman, and my allergist is Dr. Sasson Lavi. It's very educational, and I'm glad that I bought it.

My doctor is so good about letting me ask questions and talking to my son about his worries. I think the reason I'm not totally freaking out over it, is because he doesn't leave you wondering what to do.


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By Chicago on Fri, 04-12-02, 01:33

No, my dd ped. said that food allergies are over-rated and that if it was peanut she would probably not outgrow it. End of discussion.

One year later, after I was more educated I had him recommend an allergist, do a RAST and get an Epi. Thankfully we learned about the tree nut allergy via that too - and have unfortunately had a reaction that verfified that she is TNA.

I have stayed in the same practice but switched to the brand new young doctor.b He is trained, friendly, and looks things up when he doesn't know. Hopefully he will stay current for awhile...

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By DaMom on Sat, 04-27-02, 01:02

I had my 4 year old tested for food allergies about 4 months ago. He came up allergic to cod, corn, and peanuts, with peanuts being the worst. I was really surprised because he'd had peanut butter many times before and no reaction that I had noticed. I asked the allergist about an epi pen and he said it wasn't necessary since my son never had a bad reaction to peanuts before.

Later, I remembered not too long before that, I had bought a new brand of peanut butter. It was Smuckers Natural and I thought it was better for him because all it had in it was peanuts and salt and not all of that other junk in regular peanut butter. That night he woke up scratching himself silly but I never put 2 and 2 together until after the allergy testing.

We just went to our regular ped. for checkups and I asked about the epi pen. He looked shocked that the allergist didn't prescribe an epi pen. He wrote a prescription for 2 of them (one for home and one for preschool) along with a note for the school telling them "no peanuts at all". I feel better having it but hope I never have to use it.

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By on Fri, 05-03-02, 01:48

I didn't get an epi until after having an anaphylactic reaction. I got it from my GP.

I'm concerned about the people who are given epi-pens and not told HOW TO USE THEM. Teachers don't seem to get it, no matter how many times you tell them, but seems many parents/patients are not being told. I wish doctors would make sure instructions are given and understood before handing over a prescription.

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By skanb on Fri, 05-03-02, 05:28

When ds was to the ER with his first reaction, we were not told anything. We followed up with family practice MD who said to avoid all nuts because if he was that sensitive to peanuts, he probably would react to tree nuts. Six months later, (at 18 months of age) he put it to the test by reaching a bite of stollen (with chopped walnuts) that we thought was out of his reach. Back to the ER. At the age of 3 1/2, he was diagnosed with asthma. By then I had read enough to know that increased his risk of anaphalaxis, so I made an appointment to have him evaluated by an asthma and allergy specialist. That's where we got our first epi-pen. We were reaction free until 10/2000 when ds ate some potato chips I told him he could have (since the package specifically stated they label for cross contamination for any of the big 8 allergens). Just goes to show you...cross contamination IS a real problem. Kristi

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By Peg541 on Mon, 12-30-02, 15:14

This was 13 years ago.

Our allergist tested our son, found his Peanut site to be a 4+ response, he brought his staff in to look at the reaction, took a photo of the reaction and then sent us home with no comment. We did not even know to ask. It was one year later I heard a doctor on the radio talking about PA and I went nuts, called the allergist, got confirmation and set out to educate myself since the doctor had already dropped the ball. I am a nurse and my husband a physician but we never heard of PA until our son was tested.

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By Shawn on Mon, 01-06-03, 20:33

Absolutely not!

For various reasons, we suspected my son might have peanut allergy (though I had no clue how serious that actually would be). At 11 months, we were sure he was allergic to peanuts or chocolate, so I gave him a teaspoon of peanut butter in my allergist's office. In less than 10 minutes, his entire face, neck, and ears were bright red and covered with hives, and he was crying hysterically and pawing at his ears. The nurses did NOT contact the allergist (who was actually out of the office) or any other doctor there in the hospital. Told me to take him home and, if the hives didn't improve in a few hours, give him some Benadryl. I took him home, gave him Benadryl, and called his primary care physician (Army Hospital) for a next-day appointment.

When I described the reaction to the doctor, he left me sitting in his office while he immediately went upstairs to consult with the allergist. He came back a few minutes later and we left with

1. 2 Epi-pen Jr.'s
2. Instructions that, due to the speed and severity of the reaction, he was obviously SEVERELY allergic, so no skin prick or blood test was necessary. We must strictly avoid any foods containing peanuts or traces of peanuts.
3. An appointment with a dietician for a nutrition consultation and any special advice they might have on food or peanut allergies in general. AND
4. Repeated apologies that they had no literature in the office on food allergies, and the suggestion that I check out the internet for resources.

After spending most of the night reading posts here, several Canadian sites, and FAAN, I contacted the clinic and gave them Peanut Allergy.Com's web address to share with any other patients who might be interested.

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By jeancbpugh on Wed, 01-22-03, 13:17

When my son has his first reaction to peanuts (8/00), the pediatrician told us to avoid all peanuts, peanut products, and peanut oil. He also gave us some places to be extra cautious, such as asian food and deep fried food. He didn't give us an Epi-pen. I didn't know we needed one either. He said he didn't send kids to allergists for testing until they were four years old. Too much changed before then.

It was two years later when we were back for a well-child visit that the pediatrician realized we should carry an Epi-pen.

I went ahead to an allergist at this point on my own.


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By Rae on Wed, 01-22-03, 15:53

1st dd- "4" to skin test at 15mo.-
sent us home without Epi. Gave us
one upon request at yearly check-up.
(New allergist)
2nd dd- "2" to skin test at 3yo- no epi (said
if she had been eating Peanut
products without severe reactions she
wouldn't be Anaphlactic). Age 5-
rushed to Ped. after accidental
ingestion caused anaphlactic
reaction. Ped. sent us home with an

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By cynde on Wed, 01-22-03, 16:25

I took our son to our family doctor (nearest allergist 4 hours away) after he had a few hives from PB. We were told to avoid peanuts, and he said I could get an ana kit if I wanted to. I did, but luckily we never needed it. Shortly after we moved to a city, he had a reaction of hives from head to toe. I called an emergency room to find out how long it might be for an anaphylactic reaction if he were going to have one - they wouldn't let me speak to a doctor, the nurse said it would have happened right away. That didn't sound right to me, so we went to our local walk-in clinic and the doctor said to keep an eye on him for at least 4 hours and referred us to an allergist. No epi-pen yet. The allergist did a rast, and gave us an epi prescription and told us to be prepared because his next reaction would be anaphylactic. Unfortunately he was right, but at least we were prepared.

[This message has been edited by cynde (edited January 25, 2003).]

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By on Thu, 01-23-03, 00:38

Surprisingly, the other *right* thing a doctor did, when Jesse had his first reaction, was prescribe an Epi-pen. However, no where along the line did anyone tell us how to use it or refer us to an allergist (he had two family doctors and a ped during this time).

We did get the 'script for the Epi-pen in emerg with the first reaction he had. But then, that was it.

Anything I have learned about the Epi-pen has been through learning it the hard way and from other members here on PA.com.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]


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By KarenH on Sat, 01-25-03, 04:27

My GP gave me a prescription for an Epi when I went to him about my throat swelling when I'd tried some hazelnuts, but was NOT going to have me tested. I was only tested for Tree Nuts at my insistance, and then when I tested positive told "just don't eat them." I have begun to react to peanuts, and the reactions have gotten worse over time and with each exposure. My doctor seemed frustrated with the allergist and set me up with another appointment...and the allergist said that I can't have a true peanut allergy (basically he thought it was all in my head). He refused to test me and said the Cap Rast was unreliable. "The chances of you having anaphylaxis is next to nothing" he said. "so just avoid peanuts if you are uncomfortable". I feel that I need to know about this allergy and the severity of it, since I work in Elementary schools with children who eat pb every day. I want to be prepared, not find out one day by going into anaphylaxis out of the blue.

I had some peanuts the other day and had a pretty significant reaction...and so now I'm switching allergists. I like my GP, and I'm pretty sure that he'll agree.

[This message has been edited by KarenH (edited January 24, 2003).]

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By nancy023 on Mon, 01-27-03, 21:59

Son had first anaphylactic reaction at 11 mos. Emergency room doctor was very good, but reaction had worn off in the 45 min. it took us to reach the hospital. We didn't know what caused the reaction. He said, "You don't think it was peanuts, do you?" No. We thought it was egg. He gave my son prednisone and told us to see our pediatrician when we got home (we were on vacation).

Same night, another ana. reaction. ER people were clueless. Gave him benadryl and sent him home.

Went straight to allergist at home. They did skin testing, prescribed epi, and showed how to use it but not when to use it; and just said not to eat the allergic foods.

About six emergency room visits later, we finally got all the food allergies figured out and switched allergists.

After having seen so many doctors I must say my pediatricians and emergency room doctors in general are absolutely uninformed, but they are starting to improve.

The reactions stopped when my husband and I began reading everything we could get our hands on about food allergies. If only the first allergist had explained more and referred us to FAAN and this website, we could have avoided so much. What I recommend to all doctors and parents dealing with PA-- read, read, read.

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By virginia mom on Sat, 05-10-03, 15:04

My daughter's allergist did not prescribe an Epipen either. This was four years ago. He just told us to stay away from peanuts. It was my daughter's preschool who made the request for the Epipen and told me that one needed to be in the classroom, in the office and at home. Without the school, I would still be floating around without one - how scary is that?

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By MomTo2 on Fri, 03-26-04, 13:25

At my dd's 15 mo check up I told the doctor about her reaction the month before to peanut butter (as I was told to do by the receptionist when I called the day she had the reaction). His only reply was that it was probably an allergy to peanuts and I should avoid feeding her peanuts. I asked about having her tested and he said it was not necessary. That was it...no discussion about what all to avoid, no mention whatsoever about an epipen...nothing.

If it wasn't for finding this site, I would have been clueless and wouldn't have took it upon ourselves to take her to an allergist. I knew nothing about the epipen until I read about it on here.

The allergist did give us a prescription right away to be filled and filled me in on the seriousness of PA. He also told me that it's our responsibility to research continually to stay current on what's safe/not safe.

I'm currently looking for a new doctor/ped.

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By renny on Sat, 03-27-04, 02:51

I first suspected my son at 14mos. His face swelled up. I called the office they said to give him Benadryl and keep and eye on him. His swelling went down after several hours. When I called the dr's office back to make an appt. the nurse told me to wait 3-5 days and give him PB AGAIN to see what happens! I didn't listen to her, made an appt. My dr. gave my a script for epi-pen and allergist referral. (that nurse was fired by the way)

The allergist did scratch tests, told me he may be allergic to 20 different foods and told me to join FAAN and that was it, no literature or anything. I left his office crying. I have a new allergist now.

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By mcmom on Thu, 06-17-04, 05:10

My son had his first reaction at 11 months, when I let him taste a small amount of pb off a spoon. After a minute or so he threw up and broke out; I called the ped, and one of the nurses said, oh, must be a peanut reaction, give him Benadryl. I didn't even have any in the house! Thankfully we lived just a block away from a pharmacy, so I put him him the stroller and ran over to buy some. Also thankfully, his reaction didn't progress any further, any he wasn't in any distress or discomfort, no scratching or anything. I never got any kind of follow up call from the peds office, so I just assumed if I kept him away from nuts that was all that was needed. At some point I asked for a referral to an allergist, but being clueless and going through a difficult second pregnancy, it took me until he was two to get around to taking him and getting him tested. The allergist said he was "off the charts" allergic, gave us an Epi rx with instructions to keep two with him at all times, and to join FAAN. No instructions on how or when to use the epi though.

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By bethc on Tue, 05-03-05, 16:39

I just posted a question about whether I should switch doctors, with all my detailed information about our experience. But here's a bit more. My daughter's first hives were a mystery. I brought her to the doctor, and she said to give her Benadryl and that it was probably from pollen, not food. So I never brought her back in when she had subsequent reactions because I thought they'd say they didn't know what caused it (I didn't either, except that I thought it was food) and that I should give her Benadryl. So when I mentioned at a well-child check-up that I thought it might be peanuts, I got no comment, no advice, no Epi-Pen, no allergist referral. At the next year's check-up, I told the doctor that we were sure now that it was PA. He said, "Keep her away from peanuts." No other advice, no referral, no Epi-Pen. At a visit with a different doctor for DD's first asthma attack, this doctor prescribed an Epi-Pen when I told her DD is allergic to peanuts. But no advice on when to use it and no advice on avoiding peanuts. At the ER for DD's anaphylactic reaction, the nurses and doctor took it very seriously (more than I did) and were surprised that DD had never been tested and that we hadn't used the Epi-Pen when we did have one. I felt pretty stupid. They weren't mean, but they understood the danger more than I did. Based on their recommendation, I asked for allergy testing at the follow-up visit with our regular doctor. I got a referral and my doctor was going to prescribe an Epi-Pen until I told him we had one. No further advice, though. And he didn't seem to think we needed to do the peanut testing since we were sure about it, but he thought it might be useful to do environmental allergen testing to see what else could be a problem. I almost didn't go to the allergist because I did know that DD was certainly allergic to peanuts, so what good could this appointment do? But we learned a lot about really avoiding peanut exposure. And now we're treating the environmental allergies that may contribute to DD's asthma episodes. And we got an official emergency plan, which is the most valuable thing to me. And now our regular doctor has agreed to prescibe Epi-Pens for school when I call his office this summer.

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By Adele on Sat, 10-29-05, 14:25


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By lmw on Mon, 11-14-05, 16:25

We are waiting for Friday for the Dr's appt so we can get a referral to the allergist for my TA dd, who now thinks she is reacting to peanuts. 8 years ago, when she was diagnosed TA/OAS, the Dr. gave us a prescription for an Epi-pen, instructions, notes on PA/TA/OAS, and told us to get her a Medic-Alert bracelet. She was there for follow-up testing - environmental, and I mentioned that she'd complained about an itchy throat after eating a few fruits, and my mom's cookies - traditional european almond/hazelnut baking. He took me seriously. He is (was?) well known in Ottawa, and very thorough. DD is 18 now, and will probably have to see someone new - hope it goes as smoothly, although I'm really hoping she's not actually PA, wishful thinking, I'm sure.

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By on Sun, 11-20-05, 00:31

lmw, how did your appointment go? We have a few members here from Ottawa. My daughter had eye surgery at CHEO a year ago August. We lived in Belleville for three years.

Anyway, just wondering how the appointment went?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

"That was Polanski. Nicholson got his nose cut."

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By lmw on Thu, 11-24-05, 23:35

Hi CSC. I was out of town with my dh for a week, so my SIL, (who was here wathing dd and 2ds) took Kristin to the Dr's appointment.
I was a little nervous not to be there, but hey, dd is 18, and knows what her symptoms were!
We (she) now have an app't with the same allergist who saw her years ago, on Jan.4/06. Not bad, just about 6 weeks. I think she's a little relieved to see the same Dr. (Yee), she remembers being there before.
She is being very careful with her food choices, SIL has multiple adult onset FA, so I wasn't worried about dd having a reaction, and no one knowing what to do.
I hate the waiting part, my oldest son takes pb for lunch everyday, and I'm not sure whether to put it away until Jan., or just make sure Kristin doesn't eat anything peanut, as so far, her reactions? have been from ingestion. I'm not ready for this - tree nuts, yes, peanut - we've never had to be concerned about.
( my husband lived in Belleville, went to Loyalist, BIL lived there until recently.)

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By TeddyCan on Sun, 02-07-16, 18:18

Epi pen is perhaps the only solution to avoid an anaphylaxis followed by peanut allergy. So you should always keep it handy. Peanut allergy often leads to asthma that makes the situation worse; so take all means to control asthma attack. Practice proper sanitation to avoid cross contamination.

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