Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children With Serious Insect-Sting Allergies Should Get Shots To Avoid Life-threatening Reactions

Date:
August 12, 2004
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Children who have severe allergic reactions when stung by bees, wasps and other insects should receive venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, to reduce the chance of future life-threatening reactions if a repeat sting should occur, said an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

DALLAS (Aug. 12, 2004) -- Children who have severe allergic reactions when stung by bees, wasps and other insects should receive venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, to reduce the chance of future life-threatening reactions if a repeat sting should occur, said an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

In an editorial published in today's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, chief of the allergy division of internal medicine and associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern, recommends the shots for children who have had a serious systemic allergic reaction to an insect sting.

Systemic allergic reactions go beyond the expected swelling and pain at the sting site and could include low blood pressure, tightness in the chest and swelling in the throat. These type reactions require immediate medical care due to their life-threatening nature, she said.

"Claritin isn't going to be able to fix this," Dr. Gruchalla said of the over-the-counter medicine used for seasonal allergies. "Severe reactions to stings and the stuffiness caused by ragweed are mediated by the same 'allergy antibody,' immunoglobulin E, but the clinical manifestations are very different.

"It's similar to having a food allergy. The majority of kids with documented food allergies have only mild hive reactions when they eat the 'culprit' food, but for those with a severe allergy, the reaction could be deadly."

The article accompanies a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center in Baltimore. Researchers found that children who had severe allergic reactions to bee stings and who were given the venom allergy shots were significantly less likely to suffer life-threatening reactions when restung, even if the repeat sting happened years later.

"The common belief has been that children typically outgrow insect sting allergies and for this reason, venom immunotherapy may not be needed. This study sets the record straight," Dr. Gruchalla said, adding that the therapy is not necessary for kids who suffer from allergic skin reactions such as hives.

"Hopefully now, since hard data have been provided, physicians will be able to move beyond previous misconceptions and endorse venom immunotherapy for these children most at risk," she said.

The culprits responsible for most of the reactions include honeybees, bumblebees, yellow jackets, yellow hornets, white-faced hornets, paper wasps and fire ants.

There are at least 40 fatal stings in the nation each year but it is likely that many deaths go unreported, Dr. Gruchalla said. Almost 1 percent of all children are reported to have a medical history of severe allergic reactions to insect stings, she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Children With Serious Insect-Sting Allergies Should Get Shots To Avoid Life-threatening Reactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040812052617.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (2004, August 12). Children With Serious Insect-Sting Allergies Should Get Shots To Avoid Life-threatening Reactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040812052617.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Children With Serious Insect-Sting Allergies Should Get Shots To Avoid Life-threatening Reactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040812052617.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins