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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
A message about this was posted on the Kids With Food Allergies forum on Nov. 8, 2006. There is no date that I can see on the news article, but I assume it appeared in the recent past.

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A BURNLEY teenager died after suffering an allergic reaction to sesame seeds probably contained in a cereal bar he had eaten, an inquest was told.

[...]

Allergy expert doctor Richard Pumfrey, from Central Manchester Hospital, said the teenager had suffered an attack of asthma so severe he could not breathe and that it was that what had killed him.

[...]

After the inquest his dad of Thursfield Road, Burnley paid tribute to his son and said: "I just can't understand how this happened."

"We all knew he was allergic to sesame seeds but the reaction had always been so mild before and then this happens."
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Full story at http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/ne ... boy_15.php

(It may take a while to appear on your screen.)

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
How sad!

I wonder if he had ever seen an allergist. His father said his reactions were normally mild, but if he was seeing an allergist, I'm sure they would have told them that the next reaction could be more severe and to carry an EpiPen as a precaution.

We just lost a teenager here in Burlington last week. He died suddenly, in the middle of the classroom, from apparently natural causes. He was a friend of 2 of my daughter's friends and it hit them hard. It's very hard when they are that young and it's so sudden.

My heart goes out to the family.

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15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
That poor kid. Nicole, I agree that his family obviously didn't 'get it'.

And that's what always gets me about dealing with anaphylaxis - you can have a lot of aware, motivated parents (such as you find here and at support groups) and then there is that invisible other half: the ones who, even with a diagnosis, still don't seem to embrace the seriousness.

I feel for them because they're going to feel so guilty the more they come to know.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Quote:
A BURNLEY teenager died after suffering an allergic reaction to sesame seeds probably contained in a cereal bar he had eaten, an inquest was told.

[...]

Allergy expert doctor Richard Pumfrey, from Central Manchester Hospital, said the teenager had suffered an attack of asthma so severe he could not breathe and that it was that what had killed him.


Was is anaphylaxis or asthma? Does anaphylaxis cause asthma to flare up in asthmatics?
I once read that people with asthma have more mast cells in their lungs (I've read so much, I get confused about the source). Does this lead to confusion in pinpointing the cause of death?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Location: Toronto
FYI, Pumphrey is the leading authority on deaths caused by anaphylaxis.

Asthma can be a symptom of anaphylaxis - the respiratory system is one of the body systems that can be affected by anaphylaxis. That's why breathing difficulty (mild or severe) and wheezing are listed as possible symptoms of a food allergic reaction.

A personal anecdote: I don't have asthma but the few anaphylactic reactions I've had include the equivalent of an asthma attack. That's the only time I get it; it gives me an appreciation of how difficult uncontrolled asthma must be.

Hope that helps.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:31 am 
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Location: Ottawa
I was just curious because of all the confusion surrounding the Quebec teen who died of asthma after kissing her boyfriend who had previously eaten peanut butter.
In that case there was some who felt it was anaphylaxis and then we were told that it was asthma.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Susan, I know what you mean, but I'd suggest there are some important distinctions from the Christina Desforges case. For instance:
- She had quite bad and out-of-control asthma (for instance, she lived with cats, which were asthma triggers; there was lots of smoking at the party she attended the night of her fatal attack).
- She didn't actually eat pb, her boyfriend had, and there may have been several hours between when he ate that and when they kissed. The UK boy, by contrast, ate a bar with a hundred sesame seeds, to which he was allergic.
- Also, from reporting on Christina, I know there are several allergists who would have liked to have seen the pathology reports on her death to see why anaphylaxis (given it's close relationship with asthma) was ruled out. There is still a lot of suggestion that it could have been both conditions inter-related.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:13 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC
What does the coroner mean by saying he died of natural causes? I don't understand. Is he saying that because sesame seeds are natural, and he died of them, he died of natural causes? Would this mean that if a tree fell on you, you would die of natural causes?
I wish there wasn't all this confusion in the medical field when a death occurs. It makes me feel like they are minimizing how serious these allergies are, to me it feels like spin doctoring. Are coroner's medical doctors who specialize?

I am so sad for this boy and his family.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:53 am 
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Location: Burlington, Ontario
You're right Pamela Lee, it seems to me I would classify that more as an accidental death.

Are there only two categories, natural and unnatural? Unnatural would mean that somebody caused a death with criminal intent? Just a guess.

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15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:47 pm 
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I just can't figure out why they rule out anaphylaxis as a cause of death everytime the person is asthmatic! I went into anaphylaxis a couple of years back and almost didn't make it... the doctor said anaphylaxis, but wrote astma in his report! At that time, I didn't even have an asthma diagnostic dispite the tests I had done so it is weird that he said it was uncontrolled asthma when I was not even asthmatic the month before!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Location: Burlington, Ontario
One of the symptoms of anaphylaxis is asthma, but there are generally other symptoms like hives, etc.

Asthma doesn't have other symptoms, so how can they just chalk up anaphylaxis to asthma if you have other symptoms of anaphylaxis? Doesn't make sense.

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15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
http://www2.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin ... &va=asthma

asthma
Quote:
a chronic lung disorder that is marked by recurring episodes of airway obstruction (as from bronchospasm) manifested by labored breathing accompanied especially by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest, and that is triggered by hyperreactivity to various stimuli (as allergens or rapid change in air temperature)


Therefore, anaphylaxis can cause asthma but the resultant death by asphixiation was caused by asthma.
if the cause of death is organ failure and shock, that would be the cause of death but the trigger would be an anaphylaxis reaction.
Is this correct?
It's a lot like the saying "guns don't kill people; people kill people". Only for us it's Asthma doesn't kill people; anaphylaxis kills people."

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I agree that it's confusing.... I saw the coroner's report on Christina Desforges and the "cause of death" was "lack of oxygen" (or something to that effect). I think medical "cause of death" is different from what laypeople would call the "root cause".

In this case, I would personally be tempted to say the root cause was a sesame allergy and the resulting anaphylaxis (which included asthma). After all, if he weren't allergic to sesame seeds, it's unlikely this ever would have happened. But I suspect that "cause of death" is "what made the person stopped living" in the medical world.

I just found this at Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_by_natural_causes ) :

In medicine, death by natural causes is a loosely-defined term used by coroners describing death when the cause of death was a naturally occurring disease process, or is not apparent given medical history or circumstances. Thus, deaths caused by active human intervention (as opposed to the failure of medical intervention to prevent death) are excluded from this definition, and are described as unnatural deaths.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:29 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC
I wonder if some deaths that are recorded as asthma are actually caused by an anaphylactic reaction and the asthma is a secondary symptom of the anaphylaxis. I know I have heard that anaphylactic deaths are really rare, and asthma deaths are much more common. I would like to find out more about this.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:22 am 
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This is purely hypothetical of course, and I don't want to offed anyone truly but I wonder...
If you have an anaphylaxis allergy to a specific food and you spend your entire life avoiding that food only to die from it. Then it is not natural for you to eat it and your death should be classified as an accidental death. It was the a natural(anaphylaxis/asthma etc) result(death) of the accident (injesting a allergen).
I think that insurance companiies can pay out more for an accidental death as opposed to a natural death.
So, are there two different places th describe a death as natural or accidental? Would a natural death still have an investigation as to how the person came to accidentally injest the allergen?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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