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Parental knowledge and use of epinephrine auto-injector for children with food allergy


A. Deschildre, Unité de pneumologie et allergologie pédiatriques, Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, CHRU de Lille, 2 avenue Oscar Lambret, 59037 Lille cedex, France
Tel.: +33 320 445072
Fax: +33 320 444107


Epinephrine should be prescribed for patients at risk of anaphylaxis. Our purpose was to determine the use of Anapen® prescribed for food-allergic children, to assess parental knowledge regarding Anapen, and to evaluate the arrangements for emergency kits and personalized care projects in everyday life. A prospective study was performed with a questionnaire sent to families with a food-allergic child previously prescribed Anapen. One hundred and fifty two families were contacted and finally 111 children included (median age 6.5 yrs). Main food allergens were peanuts (n = 89), egg (n = 39) and cow's milk (n = 10). The use of Anapen had been demonstrated to 90% of parents (by prescribing physician, 69%; pharmacist, 25%; general practitioner, 5%; nurse 1%), with a training device (76%) and/or written instructions (49%). When asked to list symptoms requiring injection, 48% of parents cited more than one response: breathing difficulties only (23%), or with angio-edema (41%), collapse or faintness (38%), anaphylactic shock (48%). Of 107 children attending school, 54% had a personalized care project, 72% an Anapen device, and 60% a complete emergency kit (epinephrine, inhaled β-agonist, corticosteroid, anti-H1 drug). β-Agonists were forgotten at school by 34 children (13 asthmatics). Anapen was used in one child for angio-edema and dyspnea after inadvertent ingestion of egg at home. In our population, epinephrine auto-injectors and emergency kits were insufficiently available at schools and in daily life. The use of auto-injectors was not adequately demonstrated. The prescription of epinephrine for food-allergic children at risk of anaphylaxis requires accurate diagnosis, educational programs, information, and follow up.

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