Recall of Anapen for Anaphylactic Shock
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Anaphylaxis shock is an allergic response by the body, to a substance to which the individual is particularly sensitive. It causes tissues to swell very rapidly, including the tissues in the airways, which can cause significant breathing difficulties. Commonly recognised substances are peanuts, penicillin, shellfish, bee-stings etc.
The reaction often develops over time, with the worry of affected patients being, that the next time it occurs, the reaction may be more severe than on the previous occasion.
Children, who are determined to have a 'sensitivity' or 'allergic reaction' to a particular substance, often 'grow out of it', but sometimes adults can develop a reaction to something that they have been in contact with, or eaten, for years. Sometimes their body adapts to it, and sometimes it doesn't.
I myself, had an allergy to stings (it was not possible to determine at the time whether this was wasp or bee stings) when I was young. Subsequent events in adulthood leave to believe that this may be bee-stings, but I am not willing to put this to the test and the phobia of both remains. One of my family members developed an unexpected allergy to shellfish/fish in his 60s, although thankfully this seems to have been brought under control. I have also spoken recently with a gentleman who developed a severe allergy to meat products, despite having eaten meat for all his life, necessitating in the provision of an adrenalin injector pen.
For those though that are reliant upon an adrenalin injector device, to ensure that their body's own reaction to the substance does not prevent them from being to be able to breathe effectively, this must be a very scary time, particularly those who are reliant upon the Anapen device.
However, I cannot contradict the advice from the MHRA. If you have an Anapen that you are reliant upon, I would suggest that you make an appointment to see your GP in the near future to discuss possible alternative options. I should reiterate that the manufacturers of Anapen state that their concern about the injectors has not been prompted by problems reported by patients or healthcare professionals and that this is a problem that they themselves have identified.
Anaphylaxis is a very scary condition, but thankfully, is well recognised amongst medical professionals and with appropriate treatment, does not usually result in any long-lasting injury.
If you have any particular concerns about a diagnosis of anaphylaxis or severe allergy, you would be advised to seek help from your GP or from the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
If you have any concerns which cannot be addressed by your GP, that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Associate - Clinical Negligence team
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