If you have a serious allergy or have experienced anaphylaxis before, it’s important to try to prevent future episodes. Knowing how to recognise the early signs of anaphylaxis and administer AAI’s can save a life. Find out more with our factsheets, how to videos and leaflets.
Like any 22-year-old woman, Ella enjoys shopping, going to the cinema, having cocktails, and eating out with her friends. However, eating out can sometimes come with unforeseen dangers, as it did on a night out last year. It should have been an unremarkable night out with friends. Instead, everything quickly descended into the stuff of nightmares for Ella and her family. Born with an allergy to cow’s milk, Ella knows what precautions to take when eating away from home. So when she met with her friends for a night out, she made sure she was carrying her auto-adrenaline injector (AAI). At the end of the night, when Ella and her friends went to grab something to eat, Ella made sure to explain her allergies to the restaurant. To make doubly sure, she asked for a vegan burger.
Yet, immediately upon eating it she noticed the onset of a severe anaphylactic reaction and administered her first AAI pen. However, shortly after Ella collapsed on the ground and fell unconscious. Thanks to Ella’s foresight, her friend knew what to do during an anaphylactic reaction and was able to administer the second AAI. The friend also called an ambulance and notified Ella’s parents.
The attending paramedics thought Ella was suffering the effects of drink or drugs, and so made her walk. This added further strain to Ella’s heart and put her at severe risk of cardiac arrest. When her parents arrived at the hospital they spotted Ella sitting on a chair and realised she was suffering a further anaphylactic reaction. Ella’s dad picked her up and ran into resus. The family had to wait to see what the outcome would be.
We could have lost her. And I feel like we nearly did. And that’s not ok – Sarah, Ella’s mum.