Mum Shares What Anaphylactic Shock Really Looks Like
In a bid to educate others, a Texas mum has shared a terrifying photo of her daughter mid-anaphylactic shock to show the harsh reality of a serious reaction.
In her post, Julie Ferrier Berghaus documented the entire reaction which shows anaphylactic shock doesn't always happen as we see portrayed on TV.
Julie brought her daughter to her allergist for a controlled cashew allergy test, however, things didn't go to plan.
On Facebook, she wrote: "She went into anaphylaxis during the trial. It looked nothing like I expected it to look. It was nothing like they show on TV. I’ve seen allergic reactions in the hospital to medications as well, anaphylaxis didn’t look like that either."
"I hope I can educate some people on what anaphylaxis could look like, so they don’t wait to give epi."
Within minutes of being fed one-tenth of cashew, her daughter began to complain of itchy ears and a sore tummy.
"Her first symptom was simply itchy ears within five minutes," she wrote.
"She was perfectly happy and playing still though. Then she started complaining of a belly ache. She then started to itch all over. No rash was present at this point."
At this point, they decided to administer her first EpiPen shot and gave her oral Zyrtec which she said calmed her down for about ten minutes.
"After the ten minutes was up, she really started itching a lot more. Upon inspection, her entire body was quickly breaking out in severe hives before our very eyes. She quickly became covered in huge hives."
Not showing any signs of distress and happily playing, they gave her a shot of prednisolone but after five minutes she began coughing.
"We called the nurse just to double check, and she listened with her stethoscope. She said she was wheezing and tight. When her vitals were taken, her sats were in the low 80’s, her bp was low, and her pulse was high," she continued.
Moments later, things took a turn for the worse.
Unlike what we see portrayed on screen, her daughter didn't gasp, she didn't swell, choke or grab her neck. Instead, she blacked out.
"They gave her an albuterol treatment, and another shot of epi. An IV was started with a dose of solu medrol given. She was lethargic and out of it for around ten minutes before she started coming around again."
"She didn’t show any severe trouble until very late in the game. If she hadn’t already been given meds before she blacked out, I don’t want to think of how severe it could’ve been."
Due to the nature of her reaction, Julie said her signs and symptoms could have been easily dismissed.
"It was nothing like we expected to see. It snuck up on us so unexpectedly and quietly," she said.
Julie continues on to say that if you are ever in doubt to give kids a shot of their EpiPens and to be careful what you eat around children with allergies.
Warning close friends and family she said: "DON’T be afraid to give epi."
"She had zero side effects from the epi. It could save her life. Much rather safe than sorry. There is NO danger in giving the epi to her even if she ended up not in a true reaction, she has no underlying heart disease or anything. Epi will NOT harm her, even if it wasn’t needed."
"Also don’t forget to call 911 after the first epi!! As there are so many other meds that she needed to save her, other than just the epi. You can give a SECOND EPI in 5 to 15 minutes if EMT hasn’t arrived and she still has symptoms."
Signing off her post she also said EpiPens 5 to 7 years past their expiration date is more than 70% effective and can still be used.
"If you only have expired ones, give them!" she concluded.
According to Safe Food, 1 in 50 children has a life-threatening nut allergy in Ireland.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8 (and she is expecting baby #5 in May). A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee and she loves to travel and share every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her daily adventures on Instagram.