A as in Anaphylaxis

Auto Injectors – Current Issues


Before I am talking about the two main issues in the UK with the AAI, I am listing the key facts about the 3 different AAI (Adrenaline Auto Injectors) available in the UK, EpiPen (R), JEXT and the Emerade. The latter is the latest addition to the market and comes in 3 doses and 2 needle sizes, which is unique.

Here is the summary of the key features:

Adrenaline Auto Injectors – UK Market 05/2014

EpiPen ®

Shelf life: 18 months (day of production to expiry date)

Dosage: Junior 0.15mg (>15kg-30kg body weight) and adult 0.3mg (>/= 30kg body weight)

Technique: Make fist and hold pen with firm grip in dominant hand, place away from upper outer thigh approx. 10cm, push in firmly, hold for 10 sec (count: 1 elephant, 2 elephants,…), rub in for 10 sec.

Storage: Room temperature. Not in fridge, not in car, not in hot places.

Excerpt from: http://www.epipen.co.uk/patient/



Shelf life: 18 months (day of production to expiry date)

Dosage: Junior 0.15mg (>15kg-30kg body weight) and adult 0.3mg (>/= 30kg body weight)

Technique: Push firmly against the outer portion of the thigh. When you push Jext firmly against your thigh, a spring activated plunger will be released, which pushes the hidden needle through the seal at the end of the black needle shield, into the thigh muscle and injects a dose of adrenaline. Leave in for 10sec, rub in for 10sec.

Storage: Although Jext does not need any special storage instructions, it should be handled with care ensuring that it does not freeze.

Excerpt from: http://www.jext.co.uk/what-is/jext.aspx


Emerade ®

Shelf life: 30 months (day of production to expiry date)

Dosage: 0.15mg, 0.3mg (long needle), 0.5mg (long needle)

Technique: Press against the thigh. Hold for 5 sec. Then, massage the injection site lightly.

Storage: There is no upper temperature restriction. It may be kept cold but no not freeze.

Excerpt from: http://ww.emerade.com


Please keep in mind when receiving a prescription of any of the AAI, ensure you and everyone else taking care of the patient (including nursery staff, school staff, friends, family members) is properly trained on the device. Especially, when the prescription was changed to a different brand.

Also, regularly check expiration dates and repeatedly practice on the training device.

 Current issues with the AAI:

A shortage has been reported in regards to the EpiPen and the Jext. Read the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s statement here:


Unfortunately, there is no mention of the Emerade, which is the latest addition to the UK market. Their manufacturer is currently trying to satisfy rising demand by increasing their capacities as soon as possible.

The reason for the shortage of the AAI in the UK may be due to the fact that EpiPen has been increasingly demanded since Jext had issues with their AAI end of last year/beginning of this year.

Moreover, the AAI are currently under investigation by the European Medicines Agency. Read the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s Statement here: http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/living-with-anaphylaxis/news/adrenaline-auto-injectors-to-be-reviewed-by-the-european-medicines-agency

From the Notice of Action, it seems the Regulators will be taking investigation into the needle sizes. In other words: Do AAI on the UK market fulfill the requirement of safe and efficient administration (true i.m. injection of the right amount) of adrenaline into the patient’s muscle? I am sure we will be hearing much more about the needle size issue.

What are your thoughts? Do these issues bother you? Would like to hear about your concerns.


The information provided is given in good faith. Every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy. All patients are different, and specific cases need specific advise. There is no substitute for good medical advice provided by an allergy specialist.










allergy*Stars, RECIPES

Last minute Easter bunnies…

With these tasty and easy cookie cutter biscuits, you ensure inclusion and fun for everyone!


Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!Frohe Ostern! Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!Frohe Ostern! Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!Frohe Ostern!Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!Frohe Ostern!

Easter Bunny Biscuits-free from the eight major food allergens. Enjoy. Courtesy of allergy*Stars.com

Easter Bunny Biscuits-free from the eight major food allergens. Enjoy.
Courtesy of allergy*Stars.com


20 ways to raise awareness at your nursery setting on ORANGE WIG DAY

The Little Unicorn Day Nursery Bank Street Staff proudly wearing their Wigs on the Orange Wig Day Parade through Canary Wharf,London.

The Little Unicorn Day Nursery Bank Street Staff proudly wearing their Wigs on the Orange Wig Day Parade through Canary Wharf,London.

In its third year, the orange wig day, the day to raise awareness about severe allergies, will be held on friday, may 16th, 2014.

Last year, we teamed up with one branch of our local nursery and raised around 500GBP, which apparently covered the costs for the whole lot of wigs

that had been sent out.

So this year, our ambitions are even higher and we try to raise a lot more money. With all the branches involved, we were thinking

about ways to get people unfamiliar with allergies involved and getting interested in the subject.

Here is my top 20 of activities for ORANGE WIG DAY 2014:

and don’t forget, tell us about your way of showing off your ginger side of life!

Order your wigs early to avoid disappointment!

1. put an article about the orange wig day in your newsletter

2. organise a baking sale with

3. hand made free from biscuits,

4. cupcakes or other baking goods. Children love to get involved and will be eager to sell their homemade goods to mum, dad and other family members.

5. story time with a food allergy topic. There are a growing number of lovely allergy books for little ones out there, and it will be a great starting point to begin an age appropriate discussion.

6. encourage children to be good allergy helpers, and award allergy stars if someone helped to keep the setting allergy safe (washing hands after mealtime, no sharing food, etc.

7. dedicate the whole month of may to allergies.

8. create an awareness board and every day, add a new allergy fact to the board for people to see.

9. arrange a parade with your wigs. It creates a lot of attention if people see a bunch of children with their carers all

wearing orange wigs.

10. Hold a coffee morning first thing in the morning so parents can stop by for a quick coffee and cake before work.

11. Have an “allergy expert” on the premises to allow parents to get all the answers out they have about allergies.

12. Organize a quiz with allergy related gifts to increase levels of knowledge about anaphylaxis.

13. Offer GF DF SF porridge and tea/coffee for a donation to all parents in the morning, when they drop off their kids.

It is a good starting point to discuss ‘free from’ diets, it raises money and people are getting a healthy start into work.

14. Have the children get dressed up in orange.

15. Decorate the wigs with glitter, feathers, bows etc to add that extra sparkle.

16. Train your staff by an expert Trainer (e.g. Allergystars Ltd: http://www.allergystars.com, info@allergystars.com) about allergy and anapylaxis, including how to operate the AAI (adrenaline auto injector). Everyone should be familiar with Prevention, Recognition and Treatment of an allergic reaction.

17. Open a ‘teddy bear clinic” so children can gain knowledge about food allergies, its signs and what to do if a peer is not feeling well.

18. Challenge your catering team and ask if they can provide a free from dessert option that every child at your setting can enjoy (e.g., free from apple crumble and vanilla sauce)

19. Inform local media about your event.

20. Share your best shots on social media (make sure no children can be identified).

More great ideas?

Please share!



Grissini – the real thing! GF, NF, DF, EF, SF, vegan

I feel sooo guilty not having spent any time ‘on the blog’ lately. These days, I wish for 36hour days and 12hour nights, what I get is usually 20hour days and 4hour nights.
I am sure I am not the only one *waves to ALLERGYADVENTURES’ HAILEY*
I am very honored that the famous and great NIA shared one of her favorite recipes with us – Grissini, free from.
Breadsticks are not available in the UK for GF, NF, DF, EF, SF people like allergybabe. So here it is, your chance to offer a popular snack, free from.
Thanks again to NIA for the recipe.

She ingeniously develops the most versatile recipes without missing out on the flavor.

Makes a lot of grissini (about 20)
500 g gluten free flour (or wheat flour)
40 g flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using wheat flour or your blend contains it)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp liquid sweetener (brown rice syrup, agave, honey…)
2 tbsp flax or chia seeds (nut free lineseeds available from Waitrose, nut free chia available from Wholefoods)
Soak 2 tbsp flax seeds in 120 ml hot water and sit for 15 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 220 degrees and place a water bath at the bottom of the oven (basically a roasting tray filled with warm water to create steam). Line a few trays with baking parchment or a non stick liner and grease lightly.
In a large bowl combine 500 g gluten free flour, 40 g flax meal (ground linseeds), 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp xanthan gum. In a separate bowl dissolve 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast in 300 ml of warm water, 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave and leave to feed for 3 minutes. Add all the ingredients together and mix until a soft dough comes together. I added more flour until the dough was stiff enough to pipe I go by eye and mix with a wooden spoon, if the dough is too stiff add more water. Take a piping bag and choose a thin nozzle, mine is a PME 18 nozzle or just cut the end off a reusable piping bag (about 5mm in width). Put the mixture into your piping bag and pipe long breadsticks onto the baking sheets, do not over crowded the sheet. Brush the top of the breadsticks with water or oil and sprinkle with salt, seeds or nutritional yeast and bake for 25 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack.




… leading the way to an allergy friendly life…


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Butternut Squash Soup


I just saw this post from the great Lucy from Lucy’s friendly foods, and I got reminded that back in October, I took a couple of pics of our favourite soup… So here it is…An all time favorite in our house, and i am happy to share this easy and versatile recipe with you.


1 Medium Butternut Squash or 1 large Hokkaido Sqash

1 Boiling potato

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Medium Red Onion

1 Clove of Garlic

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

Chilli Powder if desired

2 TBSP Balsamico Vinegar

a Handful of Lentils (we prefer Beluga lentils)

1/2 -1 litre Stock (we use Kallo Onion Stock)



Cut and peel the squash and potato, onion and garlic. In a large saucepan, heat 1 TBSP of olive oil on medium heat together with the onion and the garlic. Add sugar and spices. Add Squash and potato and let caramelize on medium heat. Turn Squash occasionally. Add broth until Squash is covered. Cover and let boil on low heat until thoroughly cooked. Blitz the Soup and place back in Saucepan. Add Vinegar and boil on low to get the acidity out of the soup for approx. 15min. In the meantime, place enough water in another saucepan to cook the lentils. Add salt at the very end, otherwise it will prevent the lentils from cooking thoroughly. Serve soup with lentils. You might like to add other ingredients like salmon, sour cream (not dairy free), coriander or shrimp. a hint of Pumpkin Butter/Oil works very well, too.





A as in Anaphylaxis, All About Allergies, Egg allergy

The Sniffle Study-why it is essential to take part in research


Last week, we had the opportunity to take part in the SNIFFLE study, a multicentre study researching the now in the UK available flu vaccine. It has been used in the US for years and no severe allergic reactions to its content (among other ingredients, it contains egg) have been observed. The aim of the study here in the UK is to proof the safety of the vaccine for egg allergic children. The new thing about the vaccine is that it is given via the nostrils. No more needles, no more tears? We were especially looking forward to a needle free day at hospital (since it is a research project, vaccines are administered under supervision with easy access to emergency treatment).

So we happily decided to take part with our now 3 year old allergyBabe. We were welcomed with a friendly #hellomynameis, allergyBabe went straight for the train track and mum was seated in a comfy armchair. So far, so good.

After the usual observations (blood pressure, oxygen level, pulse, temperature) we were informed, consented and told that there would be a couple of skin prick tests prior to the administration of the vaccine. SKIN PRICK TEST. That means needles. So despite the fact that the vaccine is given as a spray, we still had to undergo the nasty procedure of skin pricking. Despite allergyBabe’s earlier statement not to want any needles, he was very brave and underwent the to him so familiar procedure without a big fuss. The test confirmed his egg allergy.

The vaccination itself was a walk in the park. 1 puff in each nostril, followed by one sneeze, and it was over. To make sure no delayed reaction would occur, we stayed for an hour afterwards, happily engaged in the play area. AllergyBabe showed no adverse effects whatsoever.

Around the third day, he complained about joint paint in his knees, which were gone after one dose of paracetamol. He also developed a slight head cold. Nothing else.

It was a very pleasant experience, from the initial call prior to our appointment to the courtesy call 3 days after the vaccination.

Thinking of taking part? You may think about the following:

If the aim of this study (to proof that the egg containing nasal vaccine is safe for egg allergic children) is achieved,

– egg allergic children will be able to be vaccinated with an easy and painless procedure

– GPs in Primary Care will be confident to administer the vaccine to egg allergic children

– parents will have proof that this vaccine is safe

It the above mentioned points can be achieved, it was worth the inconvenience of traveling to hospital, staying there and getting pricked.

After all, every vaccination that is performed is not only protecting the individual, but also the community in which they live and thrive.

Further reading:

Parent information sheet Oxford Groupdiscussion of the subject on mumsnet.com

WHO study listing