1st anaphylactic reaction and bad ER experience

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2000 - 3:41pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Well, Logan had his first anaphylactic reaction last night - only it wasn't to peanuts. We THINK it was sesame seeds [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] now one more thing we have to watch out for.

We stopped at the pretzel place in the mall and he shared my sesame seed pretzel. About 15 minutes later he comes to me with his hands around his throat saying there was something wrong with his throat - his throat was so swollen he couldn't talk, only squeak. He also started to get a bit lethargic. He was breathing fine and I KNOW I should have given him the epi right then, but I just couldn't bring myself to actually do it. We rushed him to the nearest hospital (5 minutes away) while I sat in the back seat with the epi pen ready. I think seeing the epi pen scared him enough that his own adrenaline kicked in because he started to improve a little bit.

At the ER they checked his blood oxygen levels and those were fine but they never checked his blood pressure. They did get us back right away before the 20 or so people who were waiting. When the ER doctor saw him she told me that he wasn't having a reaction and that he couldn't talk because the pretzel had scratched his throat. I told her it was a soft pretzel. She did want to give him some steroids, though. The only kind they had was a pill (Logan is 4) and she offered to have him swallow it in a spoonful of PEANUTBUTTER!!!! (She knew he was PA) Finally I had them crush the pill into a cup of apple juice. About 30 minutes later a nurse comes back in the room to discharge us - they had NOT been monitoring him during this time. I ask her if maybe we should at least give him some Benadryl. She says she'll ask the Dr. and come back. While we're waiting Logan's nose starts pouring snot, he's coughing, and hives are popping up all over his chest. An hour later the Dr. finally comes back in and says "Look he has hives! I guess he was having an allergic reaction after all!" They then give him Benadryl and send us home.

Today, Logan still has a runny nose, a cough, and is hoarse. He also threw up once and got hives on his face after that. Is it possible he was still reacting after 18 hours?

Thanks for listening...

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2000 - 11:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry to learn of this reaction, but so glad you got him to the hospital for treatment-even though they, at first, didn't believe it was one. Maybe they can do CAP RAST testing sometime to learn if there are any other foods to avoid. My son is multiple allergic and that's how we found out. Sesame seed is one of his too. From what I've read person can have problems for awhile after a major reactions. Usually person should stay at the hospital 4 hours to see if there is a second major reaction even though no other exposure to allergic food. I'm just another concerned mom but I stopped all bakery foods because they are likely to be unsafe for my son.
Take Care and hope he feeels better soon.

Posted on: Mon, 08/28/2000 - 11:59pm
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

I am sorry to hear about your experience! How scary! Do you have an allergist? If I were you, I would bring him in to be checked by the allergist since he still seems to be having some symptoms. Better to be on the safe side. I too have hesitated to give the Epipen. I wish I had because it would have saved my son a lot of discomfort. The Drs. always seem to second guess and use the epi as a last resort. Next time I will do the epi because I am not confident that the Drs. will do it soon enough. By the way, there are some posts about pretzels and cross contamination so it could have been the pretzel.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 3:21am
Janet Laflamme's picture
Joined: 02/08/1999 - 09:00

Did the ER doctor tell you to keep your child on the benadryl or other antihistamine for any length of time? I know we've been told to keep our son on the antihistamines for up to 7 days after a reaction (even ones with just hives and a call to the doctors office--not an er visit). I hope things are calming down for your son by now. Take care.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 3:37am
Liz's picture
Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

It is very likely the runny nose etc are lingering after effects of the reaction. Benedryl, fluids and rest are my cures for when this happens to me.
And Ice cream, if you can make some... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 10:13am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Rebekahc, I'm so sorry to hear of your awful experience. My daughter has recently reacted to sesame seeds as well, although (fortunately) not as severely as your son. I had not realized that sesame seeds were a highly allergenic food before that. In fact, when I asked our allergist if I should worry about an anaphylactic reaction from the sesame seeds, she said I didn't need to worry. Fortunately I always carry the epi anyway, because my daughter is pa and tna, so I am prepared. It's scary though, when even the doctors give bad information and seem uninformed.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 1:35pm
rebekahc's picture
Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

Thank you all for your replies [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
JanBP - In the past year, Logan has had 1 scratch test and 2 CAP RAST tests. He was allergic to all 30 things they tested him for but his highest scores were for peanuts, cats, dogs, eggs, grasses, corn, soy, wheat, and milk. We avoid peanuts, cats, dogs, eggs, grasses and corn. We reduce soy and wheat where there is an allergen-free alternative.
PattyR - Yes, Logan has an allergist and I've been in contact with her. She felt comfortable with me continuing to observe him and call if he worsens or new symptoms appear. I KNOW the pretzel was not cross contaminated because I ate most of it and I'm anaphylactic to peanuts. I kind of wish it was cross-contamination though - it would be easier to deal with than an all new life threatening allergy.
Janet - The orders from the ER say to continue Benadryl 4 times a day, but do not say for how many days???? Because of Logan's corn allergy, his allergist felt unless he got worse it would do more harm than good to give him the corn laden Benadryl.
Liz - Our allergist also said to give him lots of fluids. I can't really remember how I felt the first few days after my last anaphylactic reaction (13 years ago), so I didn't expect him to still be sick. Guess it's pretty normal, though.
California Mom - I didn't realize sesame seeds had the potential to be so bad either. I asked the allergist to test Logan for them just so we could be sure that's what caused the reaction and not something else in the pretzel. She said there wasn't a test for sesame seeds but that she was pretty sure that had to have been the cause. Her tone of voice seemed like they were a pretty common problem.
Thanks again! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
P.S. Logan is still a little hoarse today, has a runny nose and had an asthma attack this morning. I'll wait another couple of days and hopefully he'll be all better. If not, I guess we'll head to the allergist's office.
[This message has been edited by rebekahc (edited August 29, 2000).]

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 1:38pm
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I've read that sesame seeds are known to cause anaphylactic reactions, and I have seen sesame seeds listed along with peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, etc., as one of the more dangerous allergens. My son's reactions to sesame have not been as severe as the peanut reactions. Fortunately, sesame is much easier to avoid than peanuts. One place to watch out for it is in health foods such as veggie burgers, etc. There is sesame oil (I assume cold pressed) in lots of packaged health foods and gourmet foods from places like Whole Foods. Also, Middle Eastern food is dangerous because of the prevalence of tahini (and tahini is as bad as peanut butter in terms of sticky, greasy messes).

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 3:28pm
Susan K's picture
Joined: 08/13/1999 - 09:00

It's a shame when you rely on doctors to treat your child and end up telling them what to do. My son's 1st ER visit after I gave him the epi-pen was certainly not as bad, but my allergist was shocked at the hospital's lack of concern. Delayed reactions are very real. I have a prescription for predisolone (sp), a liquid coritsone, that I carry with the epi-pen. We have to be our own advocate and not worry about upsetting a doctor's ego.

Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2000 - 11:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

By the way sesame seeds can be tested by CAP RAST. This has been done three times for my son traditional test scored 15(highest allergist had ever seen until that time), then 12 last year and unfortunity >100 this past May. I don't trust any bought bread crumbs instead make my own. I've been told when I talked with Nabisco that Ritz chackers will start labeling for sesame seeds. But I haven't seen it on labels yet.
I find sesame seeds challenging in that some packaged bread will list it and then add if apparent.

Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2000 - 3:22am
adamsmom's picture
Joined: 02/09/2000 - 09:00

One of Adam's first anaphylactic reactions (1995) was to sesame tahini ... one little nibble. We rushed him to the er and they made us WAIT for what seemed like forever ... even though we had told the nurses that our son has severe food allergies and that we knew that he was reacting to the tahini that he had just eaten. He had severe swelling on face and throat and runny nose (which they all could see). We gave them the name of our son's allergist and list of known allergens and they still treated us like we didn't know what we were talking about. The doctor treated my husband as if he had physically hurt our son ... the whole experience was very hard to get over. The docotor seemed hesitant in giving him a steroid shot ... like he had never seen this kind of reaction before.
On another thread someone recommended carrying a letter from your doctor stating known allergies and what to do in the event of a reaction (to give to the er staff)... I think the letter is a great idea! We are glad to hear that your little one is feeling better. Best of luck to you and your family.


Peanut Free Store

More Articles

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...

Do you have a sweet tooth and more specifically a chocolate craving? Those with peanut allergies must...