Only 10% of infants aged 0-24 months who presented to the emergency department for anaphylaxis required hospitalization, due in part to effective ED/prehospital epinephrine administration, according to research presented at ACAAI 2022.
“We reviewed charts for 169 patients under the age of 2 who presented with anaphylaxis and found that symptoms were reported in the skin/mucosal (97.6%), gastrointestinal (74.6%), respiratory (56.8%) and cardiovascular (34.3%) systems”, said Colleen Shannon, MD, MPH, ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “Almost all episodes were triggered by food, especially egg (26.6%), peanut (25.4%) milk (13.6%) and cashew (10.1%).”
146 patients (86.4%) received epinephrine, with 51 (30.1%) receiving it prior to arrival at the hospital and 16 (9.5%) requiring more than one dose. 17 infant patients (10.1%) were admitted to the hospital, but none required intensive care.
“It’s important that infants, just like older children and adults, need quick and accurate diagnosis to make sure their anaphylaxis is treated appropriately,” said allergist Juhee Lee, MD, senior author on the study. “Fortunately, most cases of anaphylaxis in infants seem to resolve with a single dose of epinephrine. The vast majority were able to go home from the emergency department without further intervention.”
If your child has a severe allergic reaction to a food, see an allergist for diagnosis and management, including a prescription for an epinephrine auto injector. And avoid that food in the future. Anyone with a food allergy should be under the care of an allergist. An allergist can create a plan to help patients identify their food allergens and avoid triggers.