Learning from anaphylaxis fatalities

Simon Brown

in Landmark Papers in Allergy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199651559
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754241 | DOI:

Series: Landmark Papers

Learning from anaphylaxis fatalities

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Immunology
  • Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology


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This is the first study to report an unselected series of fatal anaphylactic reactions from all causes. A register was established of all fatal anaphylactic reactions in the UK since 1992 . . . study of a large number of fatal reactions might give insight into why prevention and treatment had failed. . . . The register holds details of 164 fatalities during 1992-98. . . . An arithmetic mean of 20.4 probable anaphylactic deaths each year was recorded. Approximately half the reactions were due to medical interventions, quarter each to insect venom and food. . . . This retrospective study has revealed how avoidance, self-treatment and medical management failed to prevent anaphylactic death. This insight should lead to better management of severe allergies by more effective advice on allergen avoidance; more appropriate prescribing of self-treatment kit and improved training in its use; improved protocols for paramedics, and increased awareness of the correct dose of adrenaline used in treatment of anaphylactic reactions.

Chapter.  932 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Immunology ; Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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