Unique collaborative service established for childhood allergy-related anaphylaxis

October 03, 2000

Australia-first studies in preschool and school-aged children have resulted in a new collaborative service between the Women's and Children's Hospital, the South Australian Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE), the Australian Red Cross SA and St John's Ambulance.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of acute allergy and is thought to affect 1-2% of the population. It involves the rapid onset of symptoms such as wheezing and difficulties in breathing, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes loss of consciousness.

In children, the vast majority of anaphylactic reactions are triggered following exposure to insect venom or food proteins. It is not uncommon for children to be admitted to hospital.

Dr Michael Gold, senior lecturer and paediatric allergist from the Adelaide University Department of Paediatrics at the Women's and Children's Hospital said, "We studied 4173 South Australian children with allergies who were aged five to 17 years and found that one in 166 had experienced a previous anaphylactic reaction.

"This is the first Australian study to document the prevalence of anaphylaxis in school children".

First aid treatment of anaphylaxis is very important and may prevent the severe complications of this reaction. For some children this may involve parents or other carers, including school staff, giving adrenaline by injection as a first aid measure and before hospital admission.

This study also established that only one third of children attending school in South Australia had emergency medication available at school, an emergency action plan, or a teacher or carer on site able to administer adrenaline for first aid use.

"Child care and school staff need to be aware of the triggers for each child's anaphylaxis, have knowledge of the early signs and symptoms, and an appropriate first aid action plan needs to be in place," Dr Gold said.

"Furthermore, we have also shown recently in a separate study that, on average, children with food anaphylaxis may experience at least one reaction every two years due to inadvertent exposure to the food trigger.

Fortunately, the first aid use of adrenaline may reduce the chances of the child needing further hospital treatment by at least 50%," he said.

As a result of these South Australian studies a unique collaboration between the Women's and Children's Hospital's University Department of Paediatrics, DETE, the Red Cross and St John's Ambulance has been established. This has seen the formation of a first aid anaphylaxis training course for school staff.

The programme is unique both nationally and internationally and ensures that school staff are educated in the prevention, recognition, and management of anaphylaxis.

If necessary school staff may be taught how to administer adrenaline for first aid use. Already over 1,000 SA school staff have been through the programme.

Dr Gold said, "We believe the program provides a model for best practice in this area and is a practical demonstration of how the health needs of children can best be met by collaboration between the health and educational sectors."
-end-
Interviews can be arranged with:
* a family whose child has experienced food triggered anaphylaxis;
* Dr Michael Gold

To arrange interviews please contact:
Dr. Edna Bates
Public Relations Officer
Tel: 618-8204-7388
batese@wch.sa.gov.au

or

Mrs. Chris Ostermann
Director of Media and Community Relations
mobile: 0417-807-690
ostermannc@wch.sa.gov.au


Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide - Part of the Children, Youth and Women's Health Service

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.