Food Allergy Research & Education Launches Free Educational Course “Save a Life: Recognizing and Responding to Anaphylaxis,”
New Online Course Is Designed to Teach Anyone How to Appropriately Respond in Event of Anaphylaxis
McLEAN, VA (March 15, 2018) – Often occurring without warning and as serious as a heart attack, anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that can be frightening to treat without medical training, yet it commonly happens outside the hospital setting and the “first responder” can actually be a parent, a child or even a stranger. To address the need for simple, evidence-based educational training on anaphylaxis, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is pleased to launch “Save a Life: Recognizing and Responding to Anaphylaxis,” a free online course available starting today.
Millions of Americans are at risk for anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be potentially fatal. In fact, treatment of severe food allergy reactions increased by nearly 400 percent between 2007 and 2016, according to data from FAIR Health, a national, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to transparency in health care costs and health insurance information. Individuals with allergies to food, latex, drugs and insect stings are at risk for anaphylaxis.
Over the last five years in the U.S., FARE has worked with advocates across the country to help pass laws that expand access to epinephrine, the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Nearly every state in the country either permits or requires schools to stock undesignated epinephrine in case of anaphylactic emergencies, and there are now 31 states with “entity legislation” which permits (but does not require) public venues to stock undesignated epinephrine. These venues range from colleges, camps and childcare facilities to sports arenas and restaurants.
“We know that one barrier to getting venues to stock epinephrine , even after laws are passed that allow businesses to do so, is the lack of accessible training for staff, and we needed to address this gap,” said James R. Baker, Jr., CEO and chief medical officer at FARE. “This is just one of the measures that FARE is taking this year to educate the general public about the severity of anaphylaxis – the threat of which is something that our families live with every day.”
The 15-minute online course, which was reviewed and approved by FARE’s medical advisory board and is available on FARE’s website, covers a number of important topics including:
- The definition and causes of anaphylaxis
- How to recognize signs of anaphylaxis
- What to do if someone is having an anaphylactic reaction
- How to safely use an epinephrine auto-injector
While anaphylaxis is a complex reaction, FARE aims to ensure that anyone who takes this course will be able to recognize it and respond with confidence. Individuals will take a quiz following the course and may print out a certificate of completion. In some states, this will meet the requirements of training as outlined by state statute.
FARE will be working with public officials to introduce this program and to ensure that it meets the criteria for approval as an authorized course as determined by each state’s laws and regulations.
To take the training, visit www.foodallergy.org/training/anaphylaxis.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter@FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.