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12 Jul 2013

Summer tips for those at risk for anaphylaxis

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July 12, 2013 Category: Health Posted by:


Warm weather is here, bringing barbecues, picnics and more time spent outdoors. Everyone should be able to enjoy these popular pastimes, including the up
to six million Americans at risk for a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. For these people, a bee sting, shrimp on the barbecue or a latex balloon
may lead to a life-threatening emergency. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place to help avoid allergens and be prepared if accidental contact

Life-threatening allergic reactions may occur as a result of exposure to allergens including foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, dairy,
eggs, soy and wheat; insect stings; latex and medication, among other allergens and causes. Outdoor celebrations can pose challenges for people living with
severe allergies. Picnics, for example, bring together large groups of people and often a smorgasbord of food. This can be dangerous for those with severe
food allergies, as even the smallest amount of an ingredient or cross-contamination with another food can trigger a severe allergic reaction. Eating
outside can also attract stubborn insects whose stings may be unpredictable.

Dr. Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, a pediatric allergist, national expert in anaphylaxis and consultant to Sanofi US, says the best way to prevent anaphylaxis
is to avoid the specific allergen(s). However, because severe allergic reactions can be unexpected, it’s critical to always carry an epinephrine
auto-injector, such as Auvi-Q™ (epinephrine injection, USP), in case emergency treatment is needed. “I always stress to my patients how important it is to
carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times, in addition to allergen avoidance,” said Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo.

While guidelines emphasize the importance of the life-saving role of epinephrine, two large surveys (n=600 and n=651) show that two-thirds of patients and
caregivers do not carry their epinephrine auto-injectors as recommended, and nearly half worry that others will not know how to use their or their child’s
epinephrine auto-injector correctly during an emergency.

Those at risk for severe allergic reactions should speak with their healthcare provider about treatment options. Auvi-Q is one option for the emergency
treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions in people who are at risk for or have a history of anaphylaxis. The size and shape of a credit card and
the thickness of a smartphone, Auvi-Q is a breakthrough in epinephrine auto-injector design with audio and visual cues that guide patients and caregivers
step-by-step through the injection process.

In addition to always carrying an epinephrine auto-injector such as Auvi-Q, here are some tips to help stay safe outdoors and enjoy the coming months:

Picnic/Barbecue Need-to-Knows

Make everyone aware of your or your child’s severe allergies

Consider making homemade food rather than store-bought or take-out, as these foods may contain hidden allergens

Single-serve condiment packets can help avoid cross-contamination

Tablecloths can help protect against anything left on the table from previous meals

Use foil when grilling food to avoid past contaminants

Look for non-latex balloon alternatives, such as mylar balloons, for celebration needs

Tips to Avoid Stinging Insects

Keep food and drink, especially sweets, covered to avoid attracting stinging insects

Don’t swat at bees. Walk away slowly, instead.

Wearing close-fitting long sleeves and pants or insect repellent can reduce the risk of getting stung

Bees and wasps look for food among flowers, plants and garbage, so beware of these areas


Auvi-Q™ (epinephrine injection, USP) is used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in people who are at risk for or have a history of
these reactions.

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