187146 - Recognising potentially life-threatening presentations in children with food allergies and asthma
This activity highlights the appropriate management of a young person diagnosed with asthma and food allergies who presents with severe breathing difficulties.
The risks of failing to adequately identify and manage anaphylaxis and distinguish it from an acute asthma attack can be devastating.
Educating children, parents and carers on the spectrum of symptoms and the onset times of anaphylaxis, will enable families to intervene quickly with adrenaline, should the child exhibit difficulty breathing.
It is important for general practitioners (GPs) to be able to create an action plan with children and their parents or carers so that any potential episode of asthma or anaphylaxis can be managed appropriately. Having a meaningful action plan in place will assist families in preventing or reducing the likelihood of a severe asthma attack or anaphylaxis from occurring.
With 1 in 9 Australians diagnosed with asthma and the number of children with food allergies doubling in the last 10 years, there is an increased likelihood of a child being diagnosed with both asthma and severe food allergies. Food allergy occurs in approximately 1 in 20 children and 2 in 100 adults.
The risks of failing to adequately identify and manage anaphylaxis and distinguish it from an acute asthma attack can be devastating. The 2016 coronial inquest into the tragic death of 15yo Jack Irvine highlighted this. The coroner’s findings emphasised the need to ensure that family members and individuals affected, particularly adolescents, are informed about their condition and how to prevent and manage it if anaphylaxis occurs.
Food related anaphylaxis hospital admission rates increased at a rate of 10% per year between 1997 and 2013 in Australia. As some of the symptoms of asthma and anaphylaxis overlap, knowing appropriate management can be vital to the child’s wellbeing.
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
Communication with family, carers and others involved in the care of the patient is appropriate and clear
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
A significantly ill patient is identified and managed appropriately
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
The patterns and prevalence of disease are incorporated into screening and management practices
D4. Professional and ethical role
D5. Organisational and legal dimensionsCurriculum Contextual Units
- Children and young people health