If you or someone you love has a food allergy, having a plan for what you’ll
do in an emergency is essential. Food Allergy Awareness Week, held May
14-20, 2016, is the perfect time to update your own
emergency care plan or create a plan for the first time. If you’re ready to give
your care plan some attention, here is what you need to know.
Work with your physician
The first step in building an emergency care plan for food allergies is
to work with the physician who manages your allergy care. This could be
a pediatric care specialist for kids with food allergies or an allergist
for adult patients. With the physician, identify all of the allergens
that could potentially trigger a life-threatening reaction and whether
you should take epinephrine in the case of a likely allergen exposure
or only when one definitely has occurred. Your physician can also explain
the difference between mild and severe reactions and the signs that immediate
emergency care is necessary.
Complete a care plan worksheet
Your physician may provide you with a
care plan worksheet, or you can download one. The care plan should include the information
you discussed with your physician, such as when to administer epinephrine.
It should also include detailed instructions for giving injections, your
medications and your emergency contact information.
Decide who should receive copies
An emergency care plan is helpful for the person who is suffering from
food allergies, but it is most useful to other people who need to provide
assistance in an emergency. For children, the school should have a copy,
as should any regular caregivers. For adults, it can be helpful for the
workplace and close friends to have copies. Keeping a copy in a purse
or wallet is also useful.
Whenever a critical health need arises, the
ER in Plantation, FL, at Westside Regional Medical Center is ready to provide the care you
or your loved ones need. You can get more information about all of our
emergency services by dialing (954) 370-5585.