The standard recommendation for allergic individuals experiencing anaphylaxis is to administer epinephrine promptly, then call 9-1-1 to have an ambulance take you to the hospital for further evaluation. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, people have expressed concern about the risk of contracting the virus in the emergency room. Due to these concerns, FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) Education Working Group has revised the former Food Allergy Action Plan which was approved by FARE’s Medical Advisory Board.
The revised plan poses as consideration for allergists to recommend to patients and families. In cases of food allergy symptoms that are not immediately life-threatening, patients may benefit from the revised emergency care plan.
About the Revised Emergency Care Plan
Under the revised emergency care plan, FARE advises parents and adult patients to follow the below steps:
- Administer epinephrine immediately.
- Take an antihistamine or use prescribed albuterol as directed by your physician.
- Monitor the patient’s response to see if symptoms resolve promptly.
- If severe symptoms don’t resolve within 5 minutes, administer a second dose of epinephrine.
- If symptoms don’t subside after the second dose, call emergency medical personnel. If symptoms do resolve, continue to monitor them for 4-6 hours.
- With symptoms that resolved, inform your allergist of the reaction. Be sure to restock epinephrine and other medications. You can schedule a telemedicine appointment with NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for prescription refills.
For any of the following severe symptoms, inject epinephrine and call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not delay seeking medical treatment.
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, repetitive cough
- Pale or bluish skin, faintness, weak pulse, dizziness
- Tight or hoarse throat, trouble breathing or swallowing
- Significant swelling of the tongue or lips
- Many hives over body, widespread redness
- Repetitive vomiting, severe diarrhea
- Feeling something bad is about to happen, anxiety, confusion
- OR A COMBINATION of symptoms from different body areas
It is important to note that FARE’s emergency care plan is a consideration. You should always follow instructions from your Board Certified Allergist concerning your food allergy action plan. Consult with our food allergy experts to determine the appropriate treatment plan for you.