Monday, May 21, 2012

Texas Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis

The new Texas guidelines have been released!

Susan Tharp, leader of the San Antonio Food Allergy Support Team, of which I am a member, sent me the link to the Texas Department of State Health Services website, where they have posted the guidelines that we have been waiting to view.  The link to the 77-page document is below:  

Susan, and many other people, worked so very hard, traveling to Austin, rallying, talking to legislators and campaigning to have this bill passed.  I am so grateful to them for all their hard work.  My daughter is still a few years away from being school-aged, but this gives me hope for the future.  It is promising that these types of guidelines are being put into place and that dialogues have opened up among parents, students and administrators and now things are being made more official.  While it is true that they are guidelines and not "laws" or "rules", it is still a major step forward in protecting children and keeping them safe in the school environment.  These are a few of the people that I would like to thank for their contribution to the passing of SB 27.  It is definitely not an all-inclusive list, since I was not involved in the passing of this legislation and am sure to miss many of the people who worked hard behind the scenes, but I want to give my thanks to those of whom I am aware.

Author of the Bill:
Senator Judith Zaffirini

Senator John Carona
Senator Wendy Davis
Senator Leticia Van de Putte
Senator Kirk Watson

Senator Dan Branch
Senator Scott Hochberg

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network:
Michael Lade
Chris Weiss

Food Allergy Initiative:
Mary Jane Marchisotto
Drew Bird, M.D.

Food Allergy Parents/Advocates:
Beth Martinez
Susan Tharp
Christy Johnson
Regina Matus
Casey Jansen
Donna Cowman
Kristie Serio
Rachael Dedman

Dallas Children's Allergy Clinic:
Carol Bieler
Caroline Nixon

It's going to take me a while to make it through the entire document, but so far I am finding it very informative, even aside from the guidelines aspect.  Here are some things that fall under the category of, "Hmm, I did not know that..."  (Or, I wasn't entirely sure about that...)

"There are no medical conditions which absolutely prohibit the use of epinephrine when anaphylaxis occurs." ~Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1105-1118.

"In approximately one third of anaphylactic reactions, the initial symptoms are followed by a delayed wave of symptoms two to four hours later.  This combination of an early phase of symptoms followed by a late phase of symptoms is defined as a biphasic reaction.  While initial symptoms respond to epinephrine, the delayed biphasic response may not respond to epinephrine and may not be prevented by steroids."

(I'll have to report back, later, with more...still reading...)

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