How Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia helped me

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia provides a vital service in providing information and advice regarding food allergies, its management, ideas and tips as to how to deal with different situations and important aspects of growing up including vaccinations, beginning daycare, school, teenage years, going on camp and travelling overseas.

It is especially important and useful to parents who are new to allergies as there is so much misinformation and ignorance faced by people with allergies. 

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia also educates, raises awareness and provides cautions and food recalls regarding contaminated foods via social media including Facebook which is important and useful.

I first met Maria from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia in 2012 not long after our daughter Penelope died unexpectedly from anaphylaxis. 

She was eight years old.

After our daughter died, we had to re-examine everything we thought we knew about allergies.  Penelope’s younger sister Isobelle was four years old at the time, also had multiple food allergies to milk/dairy, egg, nuts and shellfish.

The support, advice and care from Maria and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia was invaluable and drove home many important points that I would like to highlight.

As we travelled often between Australia and New Zealand where Penelope was born, Maria emphasised the importance of keeping all Epipens on your person when flying.  Epipens don’t work if you pack them with your checked in luggage!  Keep all of them at hand with you ALWAYS!

Other important advice she imparted was, during anaphylaxis, keeping the person flat helps prevent a drop in blood pressure is extremely important.  

And most importantly, do not be afraid to use an Epipen!!  After all, it is simply a shot of adrenaline which is a hormone which occurs naturally in our body during a fight or flight response.  Using it when a person has become unconscious makes it less effective.

Given the vast number of babies and young children who are diagnosed with food allergies in Australia each year, GPs should be encouraged to refer their patients to both an allergist and to Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia for advice and guidance.  Access to their website and membership is free with up-to-date information.

Upon occasion, I have emailed Maria for advice which was handled professionally and promptly. 

My family and I are extremely grateful to Maria and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia for all their care and advice.  They have changed the way we view and deal with allergies, especially with respect to our younger daughter who will be off to high school next year.

Thank you.

Teresa 

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IN AN EMERGENCY

If you are having an allergic reaction follow advice on your ASCIA Action Plan.

If in doubt, give the Anapen® or EpiPen®.

Do not call us for emergency advice.

If you do not have an ASCIA Action Plan and/or an Anapen® or EpiPen® call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.