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Another allergic reaction, was I right to call the ambulance?

(24 Posts)
Ivortheengine8 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:52:57

DD has had several allergic reactions in the past and usually DH takes her to the hospital by car but today he was at work and I was on my own.
Some symptoms she has had in the past involve swelling of face/eyes/lips,stridor and difficulty breathing,severe hives and rashes and vomiting.

Anyway, I never really know how the reaction is going to go. We have ended up in A and E before now on more thn one occasion with her barely awake and too lethargic to open her eyes.
This mornning, she was sick and had a nasty rash appear around her neck and inbetween her thighs/groin area which she was itching like crazy. She was wheezing a little but not too badly and she was becoming a little sleepy. Anyway I panicked and called an ambulance. They came and took us off to A and E where she seemed to recover quite quickly. They did assure me to go in any time and that I did the right thing but this is happening every couple of months and I wondered if you could anyhow predict what might be a nasty reaction or if it's a milder one?

Did I do the right thing, or should I have waited to see if it improved this time?

She had some steroids at the hospital and they also gave us an epi pen this time in case of further critical episodes.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:54:07

BTW DD is 21 months and though she has suffered with allergies since she was very young and had blood tests,some of them she has outgrown, others I simply avoid so we are still unsure of exactly what is causing them at the moment.

Sirzy Thu 21-Jul-11 15:56:59

I think you did the right thing. With the history you mentioned it was better to get her there and checked out.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 21-Jul-11 15:58:49

I still find it confusing because of the different symptoms which never seem to be exactly the same. Also because I have never suffered with any allergies so am not really aware of what is happening.

Piffpaffpoff Thu 21-Jul-11 16:04:01

Of course you were right. What if you had waited and it got worse? I had to take DS to A&E for an allergic reaction (we're 5 mins from hosp so driving is quicker than getting an ambulance) and I did have a moment where I thought am I being a bit OTT here but I immediately decided I'd rather be OTT than wait another 10 mins and have a dead DS.

It's scary stuff though isn't it? We are now the proud owner of an epipen, which freaks me out but if that's what's needed then so be it. Are you feeling ok - it's such a shock when it happens. But you undoubtedly did the right thing.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 21-Jul-11 16:08:21

It is piff, it is so unpredictable isn't it? Especially not knowing the exact trigger. I'm fine thanks, bit hot and tired but fine! She seems much better too.
I think they are a lot more accommodating too when its a child. They have always been really good with us when I have taken her in.

Sirzy Thu 21-Jul-11 16:14:57

I had to call an ambulance for Ds last week and felt guilty about it and questioned if I had done the right thing. The staff on the ward said that if I ever have concerns which involve his breathing to call an ambulance if I feel it's needed because things change so quickly especially when they are still young.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 21-Jul-11 16:19:51

Yes Sirzy, and especially when they can't communicate properly yet. Its scary how fast things appear....and disappear

eragon Thu 21-Jul-11 23:43:52

when it comes to anaphylaxis, always call an ambulance. they can give support and give you higher priority at the hosptial, than if you turn up by yourself.

also, you may use both your epi pens and need the paramedics to help one day.

louby86 Fri 22-Jul-11 00:44:13

You did the right thing calling an ambulance, definitely! If in doubt call them!

In terms of predicting how severe the reaction will be I'm afraid you can't normally do that until you know the triggers! My parents found out I had a serious nut allergy when I was 3 (my fault for stealing a brazil nut toffee and eating it when they weren't looking). Doctors said I'd either grow out of it or get worse, for some nuts I've got better and can now tolerate them but for others such as brazil nuts and hazelnuts I was prescribed an epipen. It's only by knowing what nuts I've eaten I can predict how bad a reaction will be. If you google the anaphylaxis society (I think that's what it's called) my mum got loads of info off there when I was young!

Oh and I'm 24 now too, things do get easier when you find out the cause of the allergies! Good luck!

Ivortheengine8 Fri 22-Jul-11 17:12:42

So what exactly is the difference between anaphalaxis and allergic reaction? Im still a bit confused over it. sad
I guess when you get older you begin to understand what you can/can't have whereas children will be children ad do what they are not supposed to.

There was one evening dh and me had fish but she didnt have any at the most she had touched one of our plates but not the fish and she had a horrible reaction that night - we never found out what it was but presume maybe she had touched something that had been with the fish so hadn't even entered her system. Its actually quite interesting albeit very scary, I guess you learn too as a parent how to handle it.

AppleHEAD Fri 22-Jul-11 18:58:20

I was in A&E recently and someone was there who had called the Fire brigade and an ambulance because their teenager had got a ring stuck on her finger! I kid you not!!!!!
You did the absolute right thing

Ivortheengine8 Fri 22-Jul-11 19:41:02

Oh dear Apple - that makes me feel better! grin

louby86 Sat 23-Jul-11 10:30:45

An allergic reaction would be a rash or severe itching for example. Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction where the body goes into shock, your airways close up and if an epipen/adrenaline at hospital isn't administered in time can prove fatal. It is important that if you have an epipen anybody who looks after your DC is trained on how to use it, some doctors prescribe it and leave you to read the instructions but I still clearly remember the family trip down to the GP surgery where everyone was shown what to do, mainly to put my mum at ease!

SurreyDad Sat 23-Jul-11 22:51:32

You do not get priority at A&E if you turn up in an ambulance. Priority is based on clinical need, not how you get there!

NonnoMum Sat 23-Jul-11 22:54:15

When the airways are affected, then you should absolutely call an ambulance.

NonnoMum Sat 23-Jul-11 22:56:02

And, ditto getting training on using the epipen. Ask for at least a couple on prescription, so that you can always have one in your bag, and one in the medicine cupboard at home.

btw, did you have a take away last night? (nosy silly theory of mine...)

bilblio Sat 23-Jul-11 23:34:25

Yes, you were definitely right.
We had to do training on anaphylaxis for work. I have lots of allergies, most relatively mild but I'm still discovering new ones, and I do get a sore itchy swollen mouth if I eat some fruits. Some fruits I avoid completely because they make me itch just touching them so I'm not going to chance eating them.
The A&E nurse doing the training drummed into us that in the event of a severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis you've got about 10 minutes. So you must phone an ambulance.
She also noticed I was looking uncomfortable and quizzed me on my allergies. Then she asked if I was carrying my epi-pen. She was horrified when I said I'd never had one.

Get training on the epi-pen. Also check the dates on them. They only last for about 6 months and they're expensive so GP's are often reluctant to prescribe them.... hence why I've never had one.

Ivortheengine8 Sun 24-Jul-11 09:56:10

Nono what's that about the takeaway grin?
No, we havent had a takeaway in a while sad
The Doctor did run me through how to use it at the hospital as did the lovely nurse but I should have a good look myself and read the instructions properly.
I hope I never have to use it. Biblio have you got one now?

bilblio Sun 24-Jul-11 15:47:29

Erm... No blush
I Know! I really should!
I'm not very adventurous with food though and stick to what I know... I know, it's no excuse at all. I haven't been to the GP since I did my training though... I'll discuss it when I'm there next time.

hellymelly Sun 24-Jul-11 15:55:13

With the fish thing you mentioned-I have a friend who is allergic to salmon and shellfish and if someone kissed her after eating it,she would have a reaction,even from a peck on the cheek,so perhaps that was how your DD reacted? I never eat any of my friends allergic foods the day I am going to see her.

Ivortheengine8 Sun 24-Jul-11 19:23:32

Well Bilblio, they say medics are the worst patients grin
Hellymelly, thats very possible. I think it was cod fish she showed allergic to on her previous tests.

youarekidding Sun 24-Jul-11 19:41:18

You did the right thing. DS had a severe reaction last November with swelling and rash and rapid breathing. I rang OOH but with 3 doses of puriton it didn't get worse and slowly improved. After seeing the cons pead again she gave DS epi-pens. I always think I should have called an ambulance and feel guilty knowing this was a mild shock reaction. sad If it happens again I will not stop and think and will be dialing 999 -Better to err on the side of caution.

You can call the peadiatric community nurses and 1 should visit and run through everything with you.

Have a nice cold wine tonight.

Ivortheengine8 Sun 24-Jul-11 20:49:56

Thanks youarekidding. smile

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