Had to use Epipen today...

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

My 2 year old daughter is allergic to egg whites, peanuts and walnuts and I make a huge mistake today. I gave her Mini Chewy Sweetarts. I actually "read" the ingredients twice (once at the store and once before I gave them to her), but completely missed the egg albumin. I think I'm starting to rely too much on the bold print and contain statements and breezing through the ingredients in trusted foods. She's eaten other variations of sweetarts in the past and I've checked into their safety. I've always been in the top tier of protective and careful parents...just goes to show you can't be TOO careful every time.

She ate only about 8 of the little candies and immediately started to violently vomit. I thought maybe she was eating too fast and one ticked her throat. She then complained of her leg itching her and then I ran to re-check the label. In the midst of the mass number of ingredients...there it was. No bolding or contain statements...just buried in the ingredients.

I gave her benedryl and orapred and she seemed to calm down. With about 5 minutes the vomiting started again and her eyes started getting itchy (no swelling) and as I was cleaning her up in the kitchen she started saying she was tired and wanted to go to sleep. Her eyes were getting heavy and she was having trouble standing. She then had a bowel movement in her diaper, which I heard is a bad sign of low blood pressure.

I gave her the epi pen and called 911. Within a few minutes, she was pretty much back to normal and by the time the paramedics came, she was showing them her Christmas gifts.

I feel like such an bad mom for not reading more carefully. I called Nestle and reported the incident, asking that they consider bolding and putting statements on their products. But, ultimately, it was my fault.

I'm assuming this reaction was anaphalactic. I feel that without the epipen, she would have spriraled downward quickly. I hope I didn't set her back for potentially outgrowing the allergy.

Don't be afraid to use the epipen. I was so scared and was holding off doing it, but it was much easier than I thought. And it really WORKS.

[This message has been edited by dgood (edited December 27, 2005).]

On Dec 27, 2005

Wow, I am new to the board and am proud of you. You did the right thing and I'm glad you shared your story with us! I find myself re-reading the labels very quickly too. We can never be too careful...but I, too wish every manufacturer bolded their allergens. I am glad your DD is alright and thank you for sharing.

Jill Kelsey 5, TNA Mark 17 months EA MA

On Dec 27, 2005

dgood, sorry about the reaction. Don't beat yourself up! You did the right thing and used the epi.

I do think it was anaphylactic. Check this chart out... [url="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/111/6/S2/1601/T2"]http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/111/6/S2/1601/T2[/url]

Now with the new labeling this product will have to say egg?

Did they say how long to watch her for biphasic reactions? They did take her to the hospital right? Do you have Orapred on hand for reactions or for something else?

Well, go relax, I'm sure you are still a nervous wreck and thanks for sharing your story.

On Dec 27, 2005

Hugs to you and your dd dgood. Sounds very scary: but repeat after me "You're not a bad mommy!!" Mistakes are so easy to make, and your story made me realize I focus more on the bold too! If it wasn't so easy to make a mistake, we wouldn't be as stressed as we are alot of the time right?

She sounds like she's all better now? I hope so. Go do something nice for yourself, I'm sure this was tough on you, and you'll probably carry this experience around in your head much longer than her.

What did your allergist say about an exposure to egg and outgrowing? Personally, without my MD degree, I don't think 1 exposure will change anything. Especially with an egg or dairy allergy, which is pretty hard to avoid, people must have at least 1 accidental exposure, and most still outgrow KWIM?

Take it easy on yourself! I'm glad you posted what happened, it's a reminder not to rely on the bold, and to use that epi!! Sounds like it's a really good thing you used it based on how you described the reaction. Meg

On Dec 27, 2005

dgood, I'm so sorry that this happened to your daughter (and to you).

I basically have all of the same questions for you that momma2boys and also agree with her that yes, it was an anaphylactic reaction.

I also think it was important for you to post what you did (aside from getting some much needed support and comfort) because I know I do fall into the category of label readers that looks for the "may contain" or bold statements. It's an awful thing to admit to, I think, but I don't read full ingredient lists all that often. I don't think it makes one bit of difference that I am dealing with PA only. I have just become so, not complacent, but comfortable.

I will pick up things in the store that we buy say on a daily or weekly basis and not read the label at all. Can you imagine? Can you imagine admitting that? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

I hope that your daughter is doing better and as someone else said, please don't think of yourself as BAD MOMMY. It was a mistake, plain and simple.

I appreciate your post because now I'm going to re-think the way I shop - even if I can use the excuse that we always buy the "same old same old", it's not excuse for me not reading labels *properly*.

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

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

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

On Dec 27, 2005

I have done this recently myself- looked right past things buried in the ingredient list, looking at those bold prints. I felt so awful, but luckily my son didn't have any reaction. thank you for posting about your experience, it helps to know how others react in an emergency. it sounds like you did everything right! We have been fortunate that my son has not had any serious reactions, but I always wonder when it might happen......jen

On Dec 27, 2005

You are so not a bad mommy. Good to know people are not afraid to use the pen. I have read through ingredients, bought whatever it was, came home and found it was not safe. And, so it does happen to us. Here is one example. I used to love Brachs bridge mix. I don't eat much chocolate these days and thought, I haven't had that in years, I am going to buy it and eat it after my son goes to bed. Don't bother reading the label, as it is for me. GUess what, it has peanuts in it. ALl I rememberd was the chocolote covered fruit. So, out went the bag. Therese

On Dec 28, 2005

First, I hope today is ok for you and your child... get some rest!

Second -- I agree. It was anaphylactic symptoms, for sure. Good job using epi pen. you did the right thing.

Now -- Paramedics came -- did they take her to the ER? I would think so, hope so, even, for monitoring for hours in case of biphasic reaction.

As for setting back the allergy due to this. Forget about it. The allergy will go away/stay until she outgrows, regardless of reactions.

Caitlin had a creamsicle in 2004. I belive that has NOTHING to do with her alelrgy that she has NOT outgrown, kwim? She has a milk allergy, and will...until (if?) she outgrows...

So sleep a bit later today, and give extra hugs all around!

And get the epi refilled.

Rest.

Jason

------------------ [b]* Obsessed * [/b]

On Dec 28, 2005

Congratulations on using the epi so quickly! Good for you! You did exactly the right thing. About decreasing her chance of outgrowing it, I don`t think it will. My dd had an anaphylactic reaction to egg the first time she ate egg, and I had to use the epi. That was at age 2 1/2, and she outgrew it at age 9. So I think your child will still outgrow it. You must be exhausted, and as Jason said remember to refill those epis.

On Dec 28, 2005

I think you did a great job. The Albumin is a tricky thing. I was giving Aidan things with albumin in it for a long time & didn't realize why he was having mystery hives. I have even given him bread that had "lard" in it after reading & reading the label & was focusing on egg & nuts & not focusing on the pork allergy. It wasn't until he started with his eczema flairing that I reread the bag (twice) before figuring it out.

But there is some good that came out of it> how I felt after I used the epi. Was that it works. I know that there are reports of it not working if you wait to long, but when used right it works immediately. It gave me a comfort that I can't put into words.

My motto is to do the best that you can & we make mistakes b/c we are human & these allergies are tough & it is all about how you react to a reaction that counts!!! & you did great.

Take care, mandi

On Dec 28, 2005

What a good mom you are. I hope that I'm as swift to act when I'm in that situation.

Just last night DH came home with ice cream with a "may contain" warning on it that was in an unusual spot on the packaging. He missed it. I missed it. Mariah caught it.

Odds are we'll all make mistakes. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Dec 28, 2005

I hope that you and your DD are going well today!! Sorry that you both had to go through that, but am very glad that you posted about it. We have an egg allergy in our family (youngest DS) - and that seems to be the one that has been cause for us to throw away stuff from the grocery store. I'm not quite sure why there is such a problem with labeling - but I know, that there have been lots of bags of rolls, buns or bread that have ended up being tossed because my DH missed it on the label.

Give your DD a hug, refill that Epi like Jason said, and know that you aren't a Bad Mommy - you are human, you love your DD and you did use the Epi.

On Jan 7, 2006

First, dgood, thank you for posting what happened to your daughter. I'm glad she's alright, and you sounded like you handled things very well in an extremely scary situation.

My son had a reaction yesterday: chest was bright red with raising hive peaks, and the redness spreading up his neck. He complained that his throat hurt and his chest was burning. I gave benedryl, and stood by with epi. His symptoms slowly improved, and he seemed to be breathing okay. He is fine today, but it was frightening. The redness and swelling on his skin, so close to his lungs and throat, really scared me.

The nurse at my pediatrician (allergist away at conference) said that because DS complained that his throat hurt, that he was having some swelling in his throat and that I should have epi'd, just to be safe. The doctor called back to say NO WAY, that if his breathing was okay, that I should NOT epi.

I'm not asking for medical advice here, just want to know what you think you would do in same situation. My son has language delays, so it is sometimes hard for him to discribe to me what's happening. Thanks for any input.

On Jan 7, 2006

I would have used the epi (and I have used it on my dd). As dgood posted, it works so fast. When I used it, it worked within a minute or less. I went to put it up on a shelf, and when I came back into the room she was fine.

On Jan 7, 2006

Oh poor you and your daughter. My heart goes out to you, but I agree don't beat yourself up over it. I'm sure we've all made mistakes like that (I know I have) but we learn. This is one of the reasons we eat very few processed or prepackaged foods (labelling laws in EU are even more lax than U.S.)

You reacted quickly and appropriately and now your precious daughter is fine.

Hugs

On Jan 7, 2006

thanks, careful mom. It is so hard to get conflicting advice about using epi, and we all just have to put the clues together, and decide what to do when minutes count. DS has an appointment Mon. with the allergist, so I'll see what he says. It's easy after-the-fact to advise, but in the moment? Very stressful, and could be a life and death decision.

On Jan 7, 2006

That is why I would have used it....because it is life and death. If you are wrong then your child gets a rapid heart beat for a few minutes because you used it and didn`t need to. If you did not use it and you needed to, well, we all know what happens there from all the stories in the news.

Related