Heather Braverman, age 19, shares her experience with an anaphylactic reaction and what she learned about not hesitating to use epinephrine, the first line treatment for anaphylaxis.
Heather was diagnosed with a nut allergy when she was just two years old, and avoided severe allergic reactions for 16 years. Then, when she was 18 she was eating dinner at a restaurant and started having symptoms. After taking an antihistamine, she went to the hospital, where her symptoms progressed and her throat began to close. At that point she was given a dose of epinephrine, which immediately alleviated her symptoms.
Dr. Scott Sicherer, pediatric allergist at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute comments on how you shouldn’t wait until your throat is closing or you feel faint to use epinephrine, as the medicine needs time to circulate.
Heather learned from this experience that you must speak up for yourself and know exactly what to do in case of an allergic reaction. You don’t want to leave it up to assumptions; work with your doctor to develop an emergency plan and to understand different scenarios and symptoms so you feel comfortable responding.
This powerful video is important to share with people with food allergies, especially teenagers, who are at the highest risk for fatal food allergy reactions.
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