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Peanut Allergy - is level 5 severe?

(12 Posts)
zen1 Thu 08-Mar-12 18:36:32

I've been told my DS has a peanut allergy which scores level 5 and just wondered how severe this is and whether he would need an epipen? (The consultant just rang me at home and said they are making an urgent appointment, so haven't discussed it with them yet).
Thanks

freefrommum Thu 08-Mar-12 19:11:20

Yes level 5 is very high. Here's the RAST test scale:

<0.35 KU/L : ALLERGEN LEVEL 0 - ABSENT OR UNDETECTABLE ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
0.35 - 0.69 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 1 - LOW OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
0.70 - 3.49 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 2 - MODERATE LEVEL OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
3.50 - 17.49 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 3 - HIGH LEVEL OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
17.50 - 49.99 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 4 - VERY HIGH LEVEL OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
50.0 - 100.00 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 5 - VERY HIGH LEVEL OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE
> 100.00 : ALLERGEN LEVEL 6 - EXTREMELY HIGH LEVEL OF ALLERGEN SPECIFIC IgE

However, the test is only an indication of the likelihood of an allergy, it can't tell you how severe a reaction may or may not be. With regards to epipens this will depend on the consultant. Some will only prescribe if a child has already had a severe reaction (ie not just hives) whereas others will prescribe them based on test results alone. Until the appointment it is obviously very important to avoid peanuts and make sure you carry Piriton or similar wherever you go. Good luck.

zen1 Thu 08-Mar-12 20:13:33

Thanks freefrommum, that is very helpful. We make sure we always have piriton in the house, but I guess I should carry it round then. Hope he doesn't need epipen, because I know he will freak out about it (he is 9).

freefrommum Fri 09-Mar-12 09:41:55

I felt the same about epipens until I saw my son have an anaphylactic reaction in hospital and now I'm very grateful for them. I understand it will be difficult for your son given his age (my DS was only 3 when prescribed epipens so didn't really understand) and he might well freak out initially (I did!) but as long as you explain everything to him I'm sure he'll be fine after a while. It's amazing how resilient kids can be. I would definitely recommend joining the Anaphylaxis Campaign as they offer brilliant advice and even run workshops around the country for families about living with severe allergies. Let us know how you get on at the hospital.

DonnaSunShine Fri 09-Mar-12 10:59:18

My doctor prescribed an Epipen ASAP before the consultants appointment. Hopefully you won't need to use it, but the consultant will definitely prescribe, and given that's it's life threatening, then you should have one straight away, and all your child's carers too!

Book an appointment for Epipen training with your health visitor as soon as you have seen the consultant. Make sure they give you a trainer pen so you can train other carers.

Nursery and pre-school need to be told and trained ASAP too.

It's a dreadful thing to learn and I remember I felt terrible for days because you know it's going to affect them for the rest of their lives, but you learn to be very watchful naturally and you will relax.

Also, you can join Anaphyalxis Campaign for more support.

Good luck smile

zen1 Sat 10-Mar-12 12:06:41

Thank you both for the useful advice. We have been under the allergy paeds for a couple of years and are supposed to be monitored yearly. I can't remember what his allergy was on the scale last time he had tests (2 years ago - he got "lost" in the system!), but there was much debate between consultants about whether or not to prescribe an epipen and eventually they decided not to because he "didn't have any signs of asthma" (used to have an inhaler as a toddler for night time coughing, but that seemed to stop). However, now he is coughing every night again, so I want him reviewed. I will let you know how we get on smile

Also, thanks for info re Anaphylaxis Campaign - I will look them up!

mumat39 Tue 13-Mar-12 00:31:56

Hello

My DD, who is 4 and a half, has a peanut allergy rast result of >100. So she would be a level 6. We've never been told of the levels before, only that anything greater than 100 is only shown as >100, if that makes sense?

They have also told us the same thing Freefrommum mentions that the numbers don't necessarily indicate the severity of a reaction. So what do the numbers mean?

For information DD has a number of food allergies and on the last letter which we recieved after DD's annual appointment, the pead allergist wrote that she was showing no sign of growing out of the peanut allergy. I'm wondering if that means that she's now unlikely to?

Many Thanks in advance for any help and sorry to hijack your post zen1.

freefrommum Wed 14-Mar-12 09:15:39

Apparently peanut allergy is one of the allergies children are least likely to grow out of sadly. The RAST levels are simply an indication of the likelihood of a reaction so a level 6 means that it's extremely likely to cause a reaction (but not guaranteed) and level 0 means highly UNlikely to cause a reaction (but again, no guarantees). What it can't tell us is how severe the reaction will be.

zen1 Sun 01-Apr-12 18:16:55

No worries about hijack mumat39, I'm interested in all this stuff and what the numbers might meansmile

Well, we have now seen the consultant and he said DS actually scored a 6 on both the blood test and the needleprick test so at my request we were prescribed epipens (actually something called a jext pen, bu same thing I think). We were given a dummy pen to practise how to inject, so I feel a bit less fearful about having to use one now. Hopefully we will never have to.

eragon Sun 01-Apr-12 19:27:12

my son doesnt have asthma but still has epi pens, so he idea of only needing them because of the combination of food allergy and asthma doesnt really wash.

we have used the epi pens three times so far..

zen1 Sun 01-Apr-12 22:14:48

That's interesting eragon. The consultant tried the asthma thing again when we saw him last week, but I said asthma or no asthma I wanted an epipen just in case. We've been told to always use double dose piriton in the first instance (e.g if only swelling, rash or vomiting) and only to use pen if obvious breathing difficulties arise.

eragon Mon 02-Apr-12 11:28:19

my son has had epi pens for swollen tongue, a 'sense of doom' and other signs of lowering blood pressure/tight throat , unable to swallow, etc. etc.

allergic reactions dont equal asthma every time.

always think of airways , breathing and circulation when looking at an allergic reaction.

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