Letter to Local Papers

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 3:48am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

My grammar is bad but it's heartfelt anyway. I sent this off to the two local papers.
Peg

[b]I was attending a Sunday matinee performance at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City on November 26th when the woman sittng in front of me began to rustle cellophane. Annoying right? It seemed to go on forever.

Once the rustling stopped she began to eat the contents of the package. Immediately the smell of peanut butter wafted in my direction.

Peanut butter that "comfort food" from my childhood.

Not really. My son is allergic to peanuts. A peanut allergy is a potentially fatal allergy. An accidental ingestion of even a micron of peanut will quickly progress to anaphylaxis. My son must carry a self-injectable form of epinephrine with him at all times and be prepared to use it if he even suspects a reaction.

He wasn't eating the peanuts right? The lady in front of me was. A person allergic to peanuts can react to tasting, touching or smelling peanuts. My son reacts to all three. Luckily he was not there yesterday.

When there are peanuts in the air his airways start to swell and close off. He must leave the area immediately and take an antihistamine. If the reaction progresses he has to use his epinephrine and call 911. He will be kept in the ER for hours receiving numerous drugs to keep him alive. An airborne reaction is usually controlled well by antihistamines but an ingestion reaction can be fatal. Very quickly.

I did not ask the woman to put the peanut butter crackers away. Usually I will but the theater is small and the play almost over. We were in the second row and I did not want to disturb anyone. If my son had been there we would have left immediately. This would not have been the first time he has had to leave a theater.

I did a disservice to people with peanut allergies by not asking her to put her crackers away. I missed an opportunity to educate a member of the public. I hope my letter reaches more than just that one woman.

Over 700 people in the USA die every year from peanut allergies. That number is increasing every year as more and more children and adults are being diagnosed. [url="http://www.Foodallergy.org"]www.Foodallergy.org[/url] is a wonderful resource for those interested in learning about fatal food allergies.

I am writing to urge people to think before you eat peanut products in public. Especially in a closed area like a theater. There are many other choices of snacks you can bring. Please consider those around you.

Thank you[/b]

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 4:00am
stephi13339's picture
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Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]
Over 700 people in the USA die every year from peanut allergies.[/b]
I was just wondering where you got this statistic from? I've always heard 150-200 die from food allergies.

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 5:52am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Uh oh. I seem to remember that 700 number very clearly from somewhere. I hope I am correct, I'd rather be wrong.
peg

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 11:53am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think the current numbers are 100-150 a year in the US. You can check out the site [url="http://www.anaphylaxis.com,"]http://www.anaphylaxis.com,[/url] and in the paper by Drs. Burks and Sampson they say 124:
Burks AW, Sampson HA. Anaphylaxis and food allergy. In: DD Metcalf, HA Sampson, RA Simon, eds. Food Allergy: Adverse Reactions to Foods and Food Additives. 2nd ed. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Science; 1997.
Did you know that over 5,000 deaths a year are attributed to penicillian allergy?!? Wow.
------------------
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 11:58am
Peg541's picture
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I remember very strongly I read 700 because on one of our trips to the ER I was trying to divide 50 states into 700. Peg

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 1:43pm
Jana R's picture
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Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

FAAN has for a long time used the 100-150 US deaths per year for food allergies (I think it says most are peanut fatalities)
[url="http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/FoodAllergyBasics.pdf"]http://www.foodallergy.org/downloads/FoodAllergyBasics.pdf[/url]
I wonder if somewhere you read a statistic for worldwide?
------------------
Jana
[url="http://www.seattlefoodallergy.org"]www.seattlefoodallergy.org[/url]

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 3:09pm
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Probably was worldwide.
Peg

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 10:22pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Or could be 700 be the number newly diagnosed each year?

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 11:17pm
graciesmom's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2001 - 09:00

I thought your letter was very good. Unless your a diabetic and need to carry a snack, I don't understand why people have to bring food everywhere they go. No wonder we have an obesity problem here in the United States.

Posted on: Thu, 11/30/2006 - 12:40am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Thank you. I wanted to say that in the letter but kept my mouth shut. I think eating in a theater with a live show is disgusting. The actors don't need to hear your crunching and munching.
Peg

Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2006 - 4:00am
stephi13339's picture
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Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]
Over 700 people in the USA die every year from peanut allergies.[/b]
I was just wondering where you got this statistic from? I've always heard 150-200 die from food allergies.

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