The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently updated its anaphylaxis guidance regarding the prescribing of adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) before discharge after emergency treatment.
This update outlines that healthcare professionals should always offer people with allergies a prescription for two further AAIs before being discharged from the hospital and advise patients to carry these with them at all times.
The full Anaphylaxis guidance can be found here
Recent inquests have highlighted a need for more awareness and training for those at risk of an anaphylactic reaction (a severe allergic reaction) and their families and carers. The inquest into the death of Shante Turay-Thomas, an 18-year-old woman who died at her home in North London in 2018 after eating food thought to have contained nuts, heard how Shante had not been given sufficient training on how to use her AAI which had been changed from EpiPen to Emerade. If a patient is switched from one device to another, this could cause confusion and so careful retraining is necessary. It is vital that anyone prescribed an AAI is shown how to use their specific device.
Findings from the inquest also showed that Shante carried one AAI and kept another AAI at her school. The Anaphylaxis Campaign would like to reiterate advice that medical professionals should prescribe two devices to patients in line with the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommendations and that patients should carry two AAI’s with them at all times.
Lynne Regent, CEO of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said:
“We welcome the update to NICE guidelines. The Anaphylaxis Campaign always encourages those prescribed an AAI to always carry two with them at all times. Sadly, recent deaths have highlighted the need for more awareness of this and that the individual and their family members must receive training and support to use their device. We’re pleased to see more action is being taken to address these issues.”
The NICE anaphylaxis guidelines include recommendations on assessment, referral, and providing information. They are for healthcare professionals, commissioners and providers, and people with suspected anaphylaxis and their families and carers.
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