Anaphylaxis kills 20 Australians a year

How allergic reactions from bee stings or peanut kill 20 Aussies a year – one of the highest rates in the WORLD – as a new treatment plan is launched

Australia has one of the highest documented rates of hospital anaphylaxis admissions in the developed world – and it’s increased by 51% in the last five years. 

Almost 20 Aussies die from anaphylaxis annually –  with 11,500 Australians presenting to emergency departments with anaphylaxis – and this number is rising.

 The rate of Anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction that requires medical treatment – has increased by 51 per cent in five years – giving Australia one of the highest rates of hospital admission in the developed world. 

The danger doesn’t end with a shot of adrenaline for thousands of Australians who suffer from anaphylaxis.

A new report says patients need care beyond just a shot of adrenaline in emergency (above)

For many who experience it, there is a lengthy journey to manage their allergy after they’ve been discharged from hospital to avoid a future episode, since anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal condition.

That is why the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released their new standard of care on Wednesday.

The new Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard describes the optimal standard of clinical care for patients experiencing anaphylaxis, recommending priority areas for clinicians managing treatment.

Epinephrine Auto injector for injecting adrenaline through a needle into a patient suffering an allergic reaction (above)

Epinephrine Auto injector for injecting adrenaline through a needle into a patient suffering an allergic reaction (above)

Associate Professor Amanda Walker, Clinical Director at the Commission, said the new standard emphasises the need for prompt treatment and continuity of patient care between acute and general practice healthcare settings.

‘It addresses gaps in existing guidelines for patient care, such as ensuring timely treatment with adrenaline and strengthening the process for handover of care along the patient journey,’ she said.

‘Adrenaline is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis and should be administered promptly.

‘But a person who has experienced anaphylaxis remains vulnerable in the community after discharge. There needs to be a safe discharge and clear handover of care to the patient’s GP and immunologist.’


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