Food allergies have a large and growing impact on many Americans’ health. At least 15 million adults and 5 million children suffer food allergies, says the advocacy organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Someone goes to the emergency room every three minutes because of food allergies, according to FARE studies.
During Food Allergy Awareness Week, HealthFirst joins with FARE to reinforce the importance of patient education and dental practice readiness so that everyone is prepared to deal with anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction where the prompt administration of epinephrine increases the chance of survival.
For individuals who experience food allergies, quick action is vital to overcome an episode. That’s where organizations like FARE play a key role in public education about living well with food allergies, and successfully managing reactions. Check out FARE’s Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan for a template to guide personal preparedness.
Epinephrine a “Dental Office Necessity”
Dental offices need to be prepared to deal with food allergies, too, since they regularly see patients who are at risk of anaphylaxis. According to noted dentist anesthesiologist Dr. Stanley F. Malamed, success of emergency response depends on having epinephrine auto-injectors on hand, and being trained in using them.
That’s why Dr. Malamed, a professor of anesthesia and medicine for 44 years and member of the HealthFirst Medical Advisory Board, calls epinephrine auto-injectors indispensable.
“Epinephrine is the most important drug in the dental practice medical emergency kit,” says Malamed, in a letter to ADA News dated Nov. 7, 2016.
“The pre-loaded auto-injector epinephrine syringe is a critical component of the dental office emergency kit,” he says. “I recommend having two 1:1,000 auto-injector syringes (a “2-Pak”) for the >30 kg patient and, if appropriate, two 1:2,000 auto-injectors for patients weighing less than but up to 30 kg.”
HealthFirst is here to help you be ready to respond to the often-severe reactions your food-allergic patients might experience. Our products, services and resources include:
- emergency medical kits that include epinephrine
- Lower-price generic epinephrine auto-injectors
- Emergency kit training by Dr. Malamed that includes instruction on successfully managing anaphylaxis
- FREE compliance guide by Dr. Malamed and HealthFirst Chief Compliance Officer Dr. Don Cohen: “Preparing for and Responding to Allergic Reactions in the Dental Practice.”
Questions About Emergency Response to Anaphylaxis?
Contact a HealthFirst Compliance Counselor or call 800-331-1984.