Don\'t let her die in vain

Posted on: Thu, 01/18/2007 - 12:31pm
doofusclo's picture
Joined: 12/03/2006 - 09:00

I don't know if this is a repeat or in the information is in the in memory of page but I will put in the link and copy the story


Don't let her die in vain
Plea for more research from dad of tragic nut allergy girl

Thursday, January 18, 2007

By Lisa Smyth

The father of Ulster's first known victim of a fatal nut allergy today revealed his daughter's final moments in an effort to encourage medical research into the condition.

Jane McVeigh (17), died last month after going into anaphylactic shock - an extreme form of allergic reaction to a particular substance - at a friend's 18th birthday celebrations.

Her heartbroken father, John McVeigh, today spoke about his fears that more lives could be lost if urgent action is not taken to educate the public and catering industry about the life threatening condition and improve equipment currently used to counteract anaphylactic shock.

The pretty south Belfast teenager was enjoying a night out at a friend's house and it is thought that a piece of chicken she ate, which everyone believed was safe, may have triggered the fatal reaction.

Mr McVeigh explained that shortly after eating the chicken his daughter became physically ill and asked for her EpiPen - a device containing a dose of adrenalin which buys time for anyone suffering a severe attack to get proper medical attention.

"Jane lived with her allergy since she was three or four so she knew the impact. She was our best defence against it because she could tell just by smell if something had nuts in it, and if we went to a restaurant and there was someone nearby eating nuts her eyes would start to water," he said.

"Somehow this got past her, though, and once it was in her system she knew because she asked someone to get her EpiPen, but she wasn't overly distressed because she felt in control. She just didn't realise her system was going to get such a hit.

"The poor kid tried to administer the adrenalin but she may have been too distressed. I understand that she managed to get the adrenalin into her but it was too late. It was the first time she had used it.

"A doctor lived next door to the house and he was there within minutes but he didn't have the equipment he needed and there was nothing he could do. My sister lived nearby too and she was there very quickly. It is of some comfort that at least Jane was with friends and people who knew her."

Describing the tragic loss of his daughter as "a wake up call", Mr McVeigh said he would like to see drug companies encouraged to develop a more modern alternative to the EpiPen.

He continued: "When I got the call that night and had to rush down, of course I hoped and I prayed. I thought I would be giving her a bit of a telling off and did not really expect this would cause her death.

"EpiPens are not very user friendly and are old technology. Sufferers know how to use them but if you are not in a position to use it yourself who else is going to know how to use it, particularly in a moment of confusion as Jane found herself in.

"I don't want to sound alarmist but I would not be surprised if there are other fatalities if more research is not done to produce a device which is easier to carry around and that more people know how to use."

Mr McVeigh said he would like to use money donated following Jane's death to help fund a programme to educate staff and pupils in schools on how to use EpiPens.

He also called for the Food Standards Agency to take a more active role in ensuring that more is done to protect the growing number of people with food allergies.

"The family who were looking after Jane knew all about her allergy and were very careful and everyone thought what she was eating was safe," he explained.

"When you go to a supermarket you can check the labels but when you are eating food from a caterer you don't know, and if this allergy to nut oil killed my daughter I want to know when it gets to the stage where food processing companies are going to be made accountable.

"We are heartbroken and taking each day at a time but I hope something good comes out of this and it means there is increased public awareness so that other lives can be saved."

Posted on: Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:42am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

Awareness call after death of nut allergy teenager
Friday, January 19, 2007
By Lisa Smyth
One of Ulster's leading medical experts in food allergies is today calling for the improvement of equipment to counteract anaphylactic shock.
Ulster's only immunologist, Dr David Edgar, said it is imperative that lessons are learned from the death of a Belfast teenager weeks before Christmas.
Jane McVeigh (17) died last month after going into anaphylactic shock - an extreme form of allergic reaction to a particular substance - after she unwittingly ate something contaminated with nut oil.
Dr Edgar, who is based at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, said that the current design of the EpiPen could be improved and said that more needs to be done to educate the public and healthcare providers about the danger of nut allergies.
"The majority of people who have a nut allergy live healthy lives, but as this very tragic case has highlighted, when it does strike, clearly it can be fatal," he said.
"Doctors, nurses and everyone else need to learn more about the condition. Teenagers with a nut allergy are particularly at risk because quite often they don't remember having an attack and are going on what their parents tell them.
"Then when they are out with friends or move away from home, they try something they shouldn't perhaps because they don't want to make a fuss or because they don't believe their parents that their allergy is as serious as it is."
Dr Edgar also said increasing awareness of the condition among the public would improve the lives of people with nut allergies, some of whom have been refused entry to public places because they are carrying an EpiPen.
He continued: "So many people carry them now that it is only sensible to ensure that the public has a general understanding about them, knows what they look like and how to use them.
"There is no doubt that it is old technology and they are quite cumbersome. There was one designed a couple of years ago which was credit card sized, but it never went into production and there is also a double ended one, but it is not available here.
"It is very rare to have such a serious reaction, but as it stands this is a real wake up call to people in Northern Ireland. Because there has not been a tragic death some people have become a little bit relaxed about things, but we could all learn a bit more about this condition."
Key facts about how to use an epipen in times of a possible emergency
* Grasp EpiPen in dominant hand with thumb closest to the grey safety cap
* With the other hand pull off the grey safety cap
* Hold the EpiPen from a distance of approximately 10cm away from the outer thigh. The black tip should point towards the outer thigh.
* Jab firmly into the outer thigh so that the EpiPen is at a right angle to the outer thigh.
* Hold in place for 10 seconds. The EpiPen should be removed and safely discarded.

Posted on: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 2:19am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

There were several posts from the men (brothers) who were developing the credit card sized Epi.
Does anyone know what's become of that? The doctor's words above sound so final--like it's not going to come out. Frankly, I've been waiting for it. It would be so much easier for DH to carry epinepherine.

Posted on: Wed, 01/24/2007 - 2:46am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Quote:[b]there is also a double ended one, but it is not available here.[/b]
If he's talking about Twinject, it sounds like he doesn't really knows much about it. It's not exactly "double ended", it just contains two doses in the syringe inside it.
It doesn't sound like he's that well informed, so I wouldn't take his word that the Intelliject (credit card injector) is not going to be produced.
[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited January 24, 2007).]

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