Many of you will have read about the tragic death of 18-year-old Owen Carey last month from anaphylactic shock.
All our sympathy goes, of course, to Owen’s family and friends, all so pointlessly bereaved. But yet again Owen’s death can only reinforce the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s message so forcefully put across in their #TakeTheKit campaign. If you have a life threatening allergy, NEVER be parted from your adrenaline auto-injector. We understand that Owen was not carrying his when he went into shock.
Sadly, this message does not get across nearly as often as it needs to. It was not mentioned in the report of Owen’s death in Kent Live on April 25th although, to Kent Live’s credit, in the subsequent story that they ran about Adam John, who also has an anaphylactic allergy, Adam made it very clear that he never went anywhere without his pens. They even showed a picture of him injecting his leg.
Discussing the tragedy with ‘Research’ Kate last week she pointed out how easy it could be to become complacent. If the only serious reaction you have ever had was when you were a child and you do not even remember it – or if you are so careful that you never think you are putting yourself at risk? In both cases it would be all to easy to let your guard drop. And all too often it would appear that people do.
Although, as emerged in the inquest last week on Nasar Ahmed who died last year, having an autoinjector is worse than useless if you do not use it. So, take home message number two is that injecting with adrenaline will not do any harm, even if you did not need it. In Nasar’s case although he had his pen, the first aiders did not use it because they weren’t sure whether he was suffering from asthma or anaphylaxis. It doesn’t matter… In either case the adrenaline can be a life saver – but only if it is injected!