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HELP! Severe food allergy in 1 yr. old-testing questions!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I need some help!! I have a 17 month old daughter who had a severe reaction to something food related (we've narrowed it down to sesame or dairy) on Valentine's Day. She had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance b/c of breathing problems, a swollen face (eyelids, lips, cheeks, the whole works!) coughing, runny nose, and hives from head to toe. It all happened in about 10-15 minutes after eating lunch at a local cafe. The doctor in the ER said on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being a fatal reaction, hers was an 8!! This has never happened before. They gave me some epipens to carry at all times in case it happens again.
I am in the process of trying to find a pediatric allergist who will give her a blood test (RAST) to help identify the allergen. At the moment, none in my county are willing to do a blood test without first doing the skin prick test. I am trying to avoid the skin prick b/c of certain things I've read during my online research about the risks associated with severe allergies and this type of test. Does anyone have experience with this??? The allergists here all say "it's completely safe" but I have read otherwise. If her reaction wasn't life threatening I wouldn't be as concerned. Any help or advice will be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks in advance
post #2 of 8
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. My daughter is allergic to peanuts, sesame seeds and eggs. We've never experienced a ana reaction, and hope not to. I carry an epi pen with me at all times. We used the RAST test. I chose this because my daughter has hyper sensitive sking and eczema and I didn't want the skin test to produce inaccurate reactions.
My pediatrician ordered the RAST, and we don't work with an allergist. My ped is ok w/ this, because the allergist I went to was combative to me about not vaxing my child. My ped is totally ok with this. I have also joined FAAN, and urge you to. It's a great resource. I am surprised that your daughter made it to 17 months and never had any kind of reaction before this incident.
post #3 of 8
Allergists tend to prefer SPT for initial testing because, for most people, it's more sensitive. For us, even with ds2's severe scalp-to-ankle eczema, the results were accurate and matched both his reactions and the later RAST results. But, at 6 months old, he was only exposed via breastmilk and hadn't yet had an anaphylactic reaction. As I'm sure you've read, SPT requires that a small amount of the actual allergen be scratched onto the skin. It is not recommended for foods that have caused a previous ana reaction, so I think you are right to be concerned. In fact, the appropriate sequence in determining that a child has outgrown a severe allergy is 1. neg RAST, 2. neg SPT and, 3. in-office challenge--because the SPT is an actual exposure. It has been known to cause anaphylaxis.

Our allergist is great--he doesn't challenge our decision not to vax, he encourages EBF, and, when I requested RAST for ds2's last test, he had no problem with it at all. But, circlemama is right. You don't need an allergist to order a RAST; any dr. can do it. An unsupportive, uninformed allergist is worse than no allergist. If your ped. is supportive, ask them to order it. You already have an epi, so that fight is over.

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
My son has severe excema and allergies (with epi pen) to nuts, dairy and eggs. we did a skin prick test at 12 months. the nuts reacted so quickly - the RN was right there to use alcohol wipes (I think) to wipe the serum off. My mom worked in an allergist office for years making the serums for the tests and shots. She assured me before I went that he would be ok- and you know what? he was - no excema reactions or anything. the skin prick test - IMHO and experience was simple, painless and quick to id what we are dealing with and how we would need to treat in an emergency. I was glad we did it.

Good Luck... and sorry about the scary experience. Hope it is the last one you ever have.
post #5 of 8
Our dd is alergic to eggs nuts and fish and we determined this with the skin prick test and we had no probllems with it at all just the typical swollen spots on her back, she was only just over 1 year when we determined this. I had no idea that therre could be any problems with it.

Also what is FAAN?
post #6 of 8
Food Allergy Anaphalaxis Network, it cost 30 or 35$ a year membership.
They send out newsletters with info. and recipes.
They also have a website.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
THANKS to everyone who posted! I have a "consultation" appointment set up next week with a local allergy specialist to discuss our options and why we prefer to avoid the skin prick test. Hopefully it will go well and the doctor will be open minded. Of course they have already told me that their standard procedure is the SPT and they don't like to order blood tests unless they "have" to. So, we'll see.........I'll give you an update once I find out anything! Thanks again
post #8 of 8
Jamie ~ Tell them you wnat a RAST first to get a baseline of her levels, then after you would be willing to do a SPT, no problem!

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