Timing the transfer of responsibilities for anaphylaxis recognition and use of an epinephrine auto-injector from adults to children and teenagers: pediatric allergists’ perspective

Background & Summary: Food anaphylaxis is usually diagnosed in young children. Adult caregivers are trained to recognize symptoms and carry/administer epinephrine auto-injector. As the child ages, this responsibility gradually shifts from the adult to child. This survey showed that pediatric allergists begin transferring responsibility to the child by 12 – 14 years of age. However, many factors influence readiness.
Application to Dietetic Practice:Dietitians are not primarily responsible for anaphylaxis education, but can reinforce the education given by the physician, nurse or pharmacist and report concerns to the physician. Assessment questions can include – does the client carry their auto-injector (did they bring it to the appointment); has it expired; does the client know how to use it (demonstrating with a trainer); does the client know when to use it. With young children, these questions would be directed to the parent. Gradually, these questions can shift to the child. If the child does not show any ability, knowledge or interest in their anaphylaxis management by 12 – 14 years of age, the dietitian should discuss the importance of this with the client and let the physician know.
Pub Med ID:  22541402

Posted in: Fall2012-Research