Statement regarding the death of Sam Collings

Statement regarding the death of Sam Collings

  • 13 February 2020
  • News

The Anaphylaxis Campaign is saddened to learn of the death of Sam Collings, aged 19,  who died at Bolton Hospital on the 4th August 2019.

According to media reports, neither Sam or his family had suspected that Sam suffered from any serious allergies and he had not been formally diagnosed, although he had previously had some mild symptoms when eating prawns or eggs.

Sam ordered a prawn starter dish at a restaurant in Darwen, Lancashire but didn’t begin to experience problems until more than an hour later when he was out with friends. His condition deteriorated and he suffered a heart attack brought on by Anaphylaxis before paramedics arrived. The inquest at Lancashire Coroners court concluded yesterday with the outcome that his death was an accident and that the ‘level of his reaction couldn’t have been predicted by the evidence available to him’.

Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, Lynne Regent, said:

“We are very saddened to learn about the death of Sam Collings as a result of this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with his family and friends as they process the findings from the inquest into his death.”

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Most healthcare professionals consider an allergic reaction to be anaphylaxis when it involves a difficulty in breathing or affects the heart rhythm or blood pressure. Reactions usually begin within minutes and rapidly progress but can occur up to 2-3 hours later. Any one or more of the following symptoms may be present. These are often referred to as the ABC symptoms:

• Persistent cough
• Vocal changes (hoarse voice)
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Swollen tongue

• Difficult or noisy breathing
• Wheezing (like an asthma

• Feeling lightheaded or faint.
• Clammy skin
• Confusion
• Unresponsive/unconscious
(due to a drop-in blood

If there is a dramatic fall in blood pressure (anaphylactic shock) the person may become weak and floppy and
may have a sense of something terrible happening. This may lead to collapse, unconsciousness and – on rare
occasions – death.

In addition to the ABC symptoms listed above, the following, less severe symptoms may occur:
• Widespread flushing of the skin
• Nettle rash (otherwise known as hives or urticaria)
• Swelling of the skin (known as angioedema) anywhere on the body (for example, lips, face).
• Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

Those symptoms can also occur on their own. In the absence of the more serious ABC symptoms listed above,
the allergic reaction is likely to be less severe, but you should watch carefully in case ABC symptoms develop.

If you suspect you may have an allergy but have not yet been diagnosed, it is very important to visit your GP and seek a referral to an allergy specialist, even if your symptoms have so far been mild.

If you are concerned about allergies and would like more information and support, please call our national helpline on 01252 542029 or contact