Saw Dr. Wood.. his take about airborne reactions..

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 11:05am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

Our visit was great and he was really wonderful. He did answer all our questions and I am so glad we went to see him.

I asked him about airborn reactions. His exact words were: AIRBORNE REACTIONS ARE A MYTH FROM THE INTERNET.

He said the smell of peanut butter will not cause an airborne reaction. He said sitting at a ball field while people ate peanuts was basically safe with a minimal chance of having a reaction. Yes, there will be peanut dust but b/c it is outside, the dust will dissolve (dissipate) quickly so the risks are minimal. He said the greatest risk would be shelled peanuts in a closed environment.. airplanes and restaurants where they actually shell the peanuts.

I was very relieved to hear that...

As for RAST.. he basically said the classes are worthless. Anyone with a score over 30 has the chance of having a severe reaction. There's no way to tell how much peanut a person would have to ingest to have an anaphylactic reaction by the bloodwork. He said there have been people with a score of 16 who have had serious reactions... and there have been people who have a score of 80 who have just gotten hives. Generally there is a higher risk for people with the higher score to have the anaphylactic reaction but it's not always the case. So just b/c your child may have a score of >100 doesn't mean she will always have an anaphylactic reaction. This is good since both my girls have very high scores.

So now he's testing my youngest for tree nuts plus a zillion other things. We are hving the RAST done tomorrow so here's hoping they all come back negative!

I also asked him about shellfish. He said if both girls test neg, it's safe that they are neg and they can have it. But he recommended having the younger ones (my boys ages 1,2) not tested for any of the foods till they are 4. He said they could test neg at age 2 but test positive at age 4. HE said it's much better to wait till they are 4 so as not to expose them now and that way we will be certain at age 4 that they aren't allergic. He said it's fairly rare to test positive when you are older if you weren't allergic around age 4. Of course there are exceptions but he felt fairly comfortable with that.

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 11:44am
Danielle's picture
Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

Great information.
Okay - I am going to play stupid here. Does this mean that if someone eats peanuts/peanut butter and then comes into close contact but not actually physical contact with a PA individaul that this would not cause a reaction. I ask this becuase just today I had my first confrontation with a coach giving gymnastics classes to 2 PA kids who possibly had just gotten done eating peanuts that he shelled himself. I was worried about oils on his hands and from the possibility of close contact through talking and holding while doing gymnastics.

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 12:48pm
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

I think you have a valid concern if the coach didn't wash his hands with soap and water after shelling peanuts. He could touch equipment and contaminate it with peanut oil and then one of the PA girls could come in contact with it. I've read that it is important to wipe up counters after making PB sandwiches for the same reason.
Thanks for relaying the info from Dr. Wood. I just found out my 23 mo old dd had >100 on a CapRast and I'm still trying to understand all that it means. My allergist isn't as helpful (we're looking for a new one) but did indicate that she shouldn't be in an enclosed space with peanuts (airplane, circus).

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 12:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son broke out in hives all over his torso when my husband picked him up after eating a handful of peanuts. (these were from a can). Regardless, the coach should have already washed hands or be very willing to wash his hands-at least- before working with the kids! He shouldn't be eating on the mats or gym floor anyway!
As far as airborne, many would disagree with his attitude about airborne reactions. I was surprised that he didn't mention that when peanuts or shellfish are cooking they can be particularly problematic. The heating process actually releases the protein that is the allergen. (this is what I understood my allergist to say) When my son was 15 months old or so he had breathing difficulties shortly after passing a nut vendor in a park. My husband has breathing problems if he enters a kitchen where shrimp or other shellfish are cooking.
[This message has been edited by kstreeter (edited June 12, 2003).]
[This message has been edited by kstreeter (edited June 12, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 1:11pm
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

That is a very interesting comment from him. What is his explanation for all of the people here who have related reactions from smell? And my concern with going to a ball park with people eating peanuts wouldn't be the smell, but the residue left all over the place. Were you happy with your visit overall? Because a blanket statement like that would have put me off a bit.
ETA: I read your post over again and you said your visit was wonderful, so I guess you really did like him. It's interesting that things can come across so differently in person, because obviously his manner in dealing directly with you made all the difference.
[This message has been edited by Kim M (edited June 12, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 1:41pm
Love my C's picture
Joined: 04/03/2002 - 09:00

I'm glad you had a good visit w/ Dr. Wood.
How encouraging to hear that the high test scores don't necessarily mean you are in for an anaphylactic reaction.
However.....Feel free to mention to the good doctor that if he is ever out in Southern California he has my invitation to come and meet a "myth" in person [img][/img]
I will say that my son does not react in a room where peanuts/peanut butter are sitting in a room untouched. I saw that at a See's Candy store, no reaction. However, when he is face to face w/ someone who has recently eaten peanuts or walks into a small room where others are eating peanuts, he does starting rubbing his eyes, sometimes his face flushes and once it affected his asthma. Thankfully his allergist believes me. At our last visit I was prepared to let him test it if he didn't believe me, but he does.
On a good note, we attended a picnic over the weekend where a ton of kids were eating pb&j (I didn't know it was being served until after we arrived) and my son did NOT react to anyone afterwards. Very encouraging! I think it did help that we were outside.
Again, he did not start out this sensitive, but has become so.
My invitation stands [img][/img]
Thanks for sharing about your visit!

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 1:48pm
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by samirosenjacken:
[b]I asked him about airborn reactions. His exact words were: AIRBORNE REACTIONS ARE A MYTH FROM THE INTERNET.[/b]
I would not trust this doctor. Airborne reactions are not a myth. I have had several when I entered a restaurant where everyone was eating peanuts in the bar area and throwing shells on the floor... sneezing, runny nose, cough. laryngitis.. that is a MYTH???
hmmm.. I think this doctor needs to reserach airborne reactions more.......
how does he explain what happened to me???????????????????
(yes, he said an enclosed environment has a greater risk so maybe he does beloieve in these reactions.. although saying they are a myth doesn't sound very believing to me)

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 4:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I understand that Dr. Wood is supposed to be well respected. However, I totally disagree with what he said about airborne reactions being a myth. I think we have many members here who could prove to him that airborne reactions are not a myth.
I think what really happens is that when our child/we have a reaction, we don't know where to report it to and even if we do (as I now know I can report it to Anaphylaxis Canada here in Canada), then the place that we report the reaction to doesn't tally up reactions, how they occurred, etc., so where exactly does an accurate reflection of reactions (and how they occurred) come from?
So far, I haven't found an answer to that question. I have e-mailed Anaphylaxis Canada (and posted about it here) and I haven't found a place that accurately keeps stats.
So, when I hear a Dr. saying something like this, I just figure he/she has not actually come into contact with a patient that has had an airborne reaction and thereby doesn't believe in them solely because of that.
How do we get our information out there? I'm not sure. But I do really feel this doctor was incorrect.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 7:00pm
Gwen Thornberry's picture
Joined: 10/14/1999 - 09:00

Samirosenjacken, I'm glad your visit went well, but I did baulk at his assertion that airborne reactions are myths, especially if he then went on to say that people in enclosed areas are at greater risk - isn't that kinda contradicting himself?
I can understand that just the smell of pn BUTTER may not be as LIKELY to cause a reaction as say, SHELLED pn, but he needs to be more specific in his explanations. I once had a reaction when a friend opened a pack of dry roasted pn near me. I got hives up and down the arm closest to him, and he had not touched me. The only explanation I can come up with is the pn dust landed on me, ie, an AIRBORNE reaction.
Maybe what he meant was that PAs are not likely to react to the smell of pn butter, or someone eating a Snickers, for example, as opposed to breathing in the airborne particles from packs of pn or shelled pn?
Gwen [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by Gwen Thornberry (edited June 13, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 10:17pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

My allergist essentially agrees with Dr. Wood about numbers and classes not meaning much - I don't even know what Kevin's numbers are. He says people with low numbers can anaphylax, and people with high numbers can have minor reactions.
I know that Dr. Wood is highly respected, but I beg to differ with him on the airborne issue. Kevin has had many airborne reactions including one to a friend's breath shortly after he had eaten M&M's. As my allergist says - forget the rhetoric and go by your clinical experiences.

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2003 - 10:36pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think there may have been a misunderstanding concerning Dr. Wood's views on airborne exposures. Dr. Wood is a true expert in his field and I am confident that he does not view airborne allergies as a myth.
In reference to notes I took during a conversation with him two years ago: He told me that airborne reactions are indeed possible in closed areas (indoor sporting events, bars, circuses, airplanes, etc.) and to watch out at such places. He said you would probably be ok at open venues.
What he said was the myth was having a reaction from merely opening a jar of peanut butter. Because there is no dust, he said a reaction from merely opening a jar would not be possible.
I hope that this clears up his views on the matter.


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