1) Promote allergy awareness and research.
2) Educate parents and children on the symptoms of allergic reactions and what to do when they occur.
3) Work with the community to make it mandatory for “first responders” and schools to carry and stock epinephrine auto-injectors.
4) Support training of first responders and school staff in the use of epinephrine auto-injectors.
With severe anaphylactic allergies, it is crucial that injection of epinephrine be administered at the first onset of symptoms. There are several brands of auto-injectors, the most well-known being an EpiPen. An EpiPen is used to give an injection containing epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs. These effects can reverse severe low blood pressure, wheezing, severe skin itching, hives, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction. EpiPens are used to treat severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect bites, foods, drugs, and other allergens. Sometimes anaphylaxis has no apparent cause at all (idiopathic anaphylaxis). Epinephrine is also used to treat exercise-induced anaphylaxis.
Worldwide an estimated 2% of the population has experienced anaphylaxis at some point in life and rates appear to be increasing. Epinephrine auto-injectors such as EpiPen may be kept on hand for self-injection by a person with a history of severe allergic reaction.
Our goal is to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. Had an EpiPen been more readily available, Annie may have survived.