Home treatment guidelines could be key for those suffering food allergies during pandemic

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News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2020, 2:39 PM

Updated 1,542 days ago

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Home treatment guidelines could be key for those suffering food allergies during pandemic
New home treatment guidelines have been published for those suffering from food allergies as a way to avoid hospital visits during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dr. Thomas B. Casale, chief medical advisor for operations with Food Allergy Research & Education and professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of South Florida, details his findings in a published paper in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
In the paper, titled “Acute At Home Management Of Anaphylaxis During The COVID-19 Pandemic,” Casale outlines why the traditional recommendations for emergency care related to anaphylaxis must change during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Negative food reactions have increased nearly 400% in the United States, and in ordinary times, a food allergy reaction sends one person in the U.S. to the emergency room every three minutes.
However, during the pandemic there is a significant risk of contracting COVID-19 while seeking emergency care, he writes.
In-home treatment may be the safer course of action for many food allergy patients.
When experiencing a negative allergic reaction to food, Casale recommends injecting epinephrine immediately, asking for help from a housemate or neighbor, and laying down with your legs elevated near an unlocked doorway.
He says if that doesn't work then try administering an oral antihistamine, and albuterol for respiratory symptoms if prescribed and available, and then to monitor symptoms.
If symptoms do improve, closely monitor for 4-6 hours and notify a physician on a non-urgent basis.
If symptoms do not improve or they worsen, administer epinephrine once more.
If there is still no improvement, call 911.
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