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I was contacted yesterday by Huffington Post Canada editor Natalie Stechyson to comment about the circumstances surrounding the death of Justin Mathews, age 33 of Edmonton Alberta Canada, which comments were published here: Expert Sounds Alarm On Hidden Nut Allergens After Workplace Death. I extend my sincere condolences to Justin’s family. I share their hope that by discussing the circumstances of his untimely death, no one else will die in this extremely unfortunate way.

Justin was allergic to tree nuts. He walked into a work site to test its air quality following sand blasting or media blasting to remove lead paint. His family advises that after 20 minutes inside the building, he went outside feeling unable to catch his breath, and then he collapsed.

It turns out that the blasting material used was walnut shells instead of a regular silica based product, so the air would have had a high concentration of airborne nut allergen, and Justin had no knowledge of this. His family has stated to the press, and I agree, that signage and material safety data sheets should be required when a top allergen is present in a substance used on site.

I pointed out to Ms. Stechyson that nut shells can be present in other building materials as well, such as non-slip paint, wood stains, flooring, counter tops and particle board. An excellent resource for allergens in non-food products is the blog Chemurgy and Allergens. Non-food products containing other allergens such as corn, milk, soy and sesame are also considered.

It breaks my heart to think of Justin beginning to feel unwell without any knowledge that he was inhaling his allergen.  I expect he was confident that he hadn’t consumed or come in contact with nuts that day, so I imagine he would have soldiered on with his job and not considered that he was having an allergic reaction, let alone considered using epinephrine. In other words, through lack of allergen information, Justin had no opportunity to save himself.

Tragically, even if Justin had thought of using epinephrine, he didn’t have his EpiPens with him, the fire station where he was working didn’t have any on hand, and the first responders that arrived didn’t have epinephrine either. EpiPens are a behind the counter medication in Canada, which can be purchased directly from the pharmacist without a prescription and easily included in a first aid kit. Due to the work of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, some fire trucks do stock epinephrine. It is my hope that many more will now follow suit to prevent tragedies like this, that each person with food allergies or asthma will carry two EpiPens at all times, and that every person reading this article will take one hour to learn anaphylaxis first aid (you can take a course by clicking here).

Despite receiving CPR, deprived of oxygen, 80% of Justin’s brain was dead by the time he arrived at the hospital. He was taken off life support and died five days later.

It provides some comfort to know that an Occupational Health and Safety investigation into Justin’s death is occurring, which must be completed within two years of the incident. My hope is that as Sabrina Shannon’s death from anaphylaxis and Ryan Gibbon’s death from asthma led to greater safety for children in Ontario schools, Justin Mathew’s death will lead to greater safety for allergic individuals on the work site. Perhaps we can all find some comfort in that.

Please share this post using the buttons below, or by copying and pasting this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/10/workers-death-shines-light-on-hidden-food-allergens-in-industrial-products

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I’m very pleased to advise that Healthline has awarded my blog The Best Allergy Blogs of 2017 award. It means a lot to me that I have won this Editors’ Choice medically reviewed award every year since 2013 and that my blog is considered one of the best in the world.

Thank you very much, Healthline! You’re encouragement means a lot to me. To see the complete list of winners, click here.

* I would love for you to share this post either by using the share buttons below, or by copying and sharing this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/05/healthline-awards-onespot-allergy-blog-for-5th-year-in-a-row/

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As I predicted, Mylan has expanded the EpiPen recall to now include additional lots distributed in the U.S. and other markets in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The expanded voluntary recall is being initiated in the U.S. and will also extend to additional markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America. In contrast to the first recall announcement that related only to the 0.3 mg injector, this recall now impacts both the 0.3 mg and 0.15 mg strengths of EpiPen Auto-Injector.

Mylan states in the press release that none of the recalled lots include the authorized generic for EpiPen Auto-Injector, which is also manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies. This seems extremely strange to me, unless the defect relates to the label, since the generic is exactly the same device, just without the label. I think Mylan is trying to boost sales of the generic before they get recalled too.

Please share this post using the buttons below or by copying and pasting this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/03/epipen-recall-extends-worldwide/

To read the press release regarding the expanded recall included the affected lot numbers and expiry dates, click here.

To read my previous article about the recall, click here.

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I had the great privilege to speak with a reporter yesterday, as he’s doing some research for an article.  I offered to seek feedback from my wonderful blog readers about the following:

  1. Have you obtained Mylan’s generic EpiPen or faced any issue with it?
  2. Is it more complicated to get their generic, rather than a brand name EpiPen?
  3. How and why did you make your decision to go with branded or generic?
  4. Did you go with a different product instead?

I would love for you to comment below on my blog, if you have anything to say in response to any of those questions. If you prefer, you may email me at esgoldenberg@gmail.com.

In order to be quoted in the newspaper article, the reporter would need to speak with you directly. In other words, you won’t be quoted unless he speaks with you first.

I think this is very cool, and I look forward to reading your responses as they come in!  It’s a great chance to give feedback that may have an impact.

* If you would please share this post on the allergy pages you follow and by email with your contacts with allergies, that would be appreciated. The link to share is: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/03/reporter-seeks-input-from-onespot-allergy-blog-readers/

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There’s an EpiPen recall in Australia due to a defect that may make it difficult to activate in an emergency (failure to activate or increased force needed to activate). Two reports have been confirmed of the device failing to activate in a batch of about 80,000 devices.

We all know that the risk of inadequate epinephrine dosage during anaphylaxis is death, and I submit that a risk analysis should result in a massive recall. Remember that with the Auvi-Q/Allerject recall of every device ever sold anywhere, there were NO confirmed reports. My take on that recall is here.

The EpiPens in Australia were manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies in St. Louis Missouri, USA, and I believe they manufacture EpiPens for distribution world wide. At present, batch numbers 5FA665, 5FA6651, 5FA6652 or 5FA6653 and an expiry of Apr 17 should be exchanged at the pharmacy immediately.

I predict that the recall will migrate world wide. Don’t you think it should, given Sanofi’s handling of the Auvi-Q recall? ….

UPDATE 31 March 2017: As I predicted, Mylan has expanded the recall to now include additional lots distributed in the U.S. and other markets in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The expanded voluntary recall is being initiated in the U.S. and also will extend to additional markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America and now impacts both the 0.3 mg and 0.15 mg strengths of EpiPen Auto-Injector.

To share this article, please use the buttons below or copy and paste this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/03/epipen-recall-should-it-spread-worldwide/

To read the press release regarding the recall, click here.

To read the press release regarding the expanded recall included the affected lot numbers and expiry dates, click here.

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I realized I’ve been very quiet lately and thought I should let you know what I’ve been up to. In January of 2015, while no one was watching, I opened The New Family Law Center in downtown London Ontario.

It’s a unique concept that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I wanted to be able to answer the previously unanswerable and very reasonable question that potential family law clients ask ~ How long is this going to take and what is it going to cost?

In a family law firm, there’s no way to answer that question. I don’t know who opposing Counsel will be, how attentive they will be, what path the case will take since there’s no set procedure for each case to follow, and I don’t know how much time I will need to put into it or how many months it will take to get things done. To me, this is highly unsatisfactory.

I realized that the only way to iron out these wrinkles is to somehow get both spouses and both lawyers committed in advance to follow a structured and peaceful path. A lawyer is not allowed to represent both spouses under any circumstances in a family law firm (it’s a conflict of interest), so I had to set up The New Family Law Center Service Company to create a solution. I set up a panel of very experienced lawyers each with decades of experience, so each spouse is represented by entirely independent Counsel. Everyone is on the same page with the procedure to follow, the time line, a flat fee structure, and a code of conduct that applies to both Counsel and to the clients as well. I even provide both spouses with video wellness programming on stress reduction created by a Psychologist. This video explains things in more detail (just click on the Play button to watch it):

Now, a couple who is separating finally has an option to both commit to a more peaceful process, and to help ensure that they both emerge emotionally and financially intact. We follow a structured 3 step process that takes only 16 weeks to complete,  you each have a lawyer working for you from start to finish, and one flat fee payment covers it all. Now I can finally look people in the eye and tell them how long this is going to take and what it is going to cost. This makes me very happy indeed.

You may reach me at The New Family Law Center by calling 519 660-6352.

*Please share this post using the buttons below, or by copying and pasting this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2017/02/the-new-family-law-center-provides-timely-resolution-for-an-affordable-price/

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Now that my son is 14, I’m kinda done as an allergy mom. I started to realize this last May when Jacob earned a spot at the Canada Wide Science Fair to be held in Montreal. As I walked to the parent information session, I was making plans, since I thought one parent was allowed to attend with him. I was then informed that the ten students who qualified from our city take the trip alone with two chaperones, they’d be staying in a University residence, and they would be gone for one week.

This was Jacob’s first flight ever, and he flew without me and without any advance preparations. He’s severely allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts, but at this point, I knew he’d be fine, because I realize that he moves about the world safely. This includes taking city buses where people may be eating nuts, working in a store, and attending high school where there are no restrictions on allergens. I realized that he can be on a plane where people may be consuming peanuts or nuts and remain safe.

While he was in the air traveling to Montreal, I took our dog for a walk in the woods. I realized while looking around that while a person could pull an ominous mound of poison ivy from the sides of the path I was on, I’ve always been able to move about without incident, and that by analogy Jacob could do so in the presence of his allergens.

Jacob met with the Chef at the University residence the morning after he arrived, to learn what was safe for him to eat. Any remaining concern I had evaporated when I spoke to him on the first night, since he chose to eat lettuce and cucumbers for dinner because he hadn’t had that meeting yet. There were events he attended that had food trucks or theme foods, and he stayed away from those foods while still having a great time, and he was reaction free.

Jacob’s in his first year of high school now, and for the first time there was no authorization to administer epinephrine to hand in, and no meeting with any teachers about keeping him safe.  None of that is necessary any more, nor would it be appreciated by Jacob.

What Jacob does have is a medical ID on at all times, an epinephrine auto-injector in his pocket with back up in his bag, and certification in anaphylaxis first aid.  I wouldn’t settle for less or do anything more.

* To share this article, please click on the buttons below, or copy and paste this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2016/10/im-kinda-done-as-an-allergy-mom/

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Onespot Allergy Blog by One Spot Allergy - 15h ago

I’m hoping my readers can help me with this (and thank you to those who replied to my Auvi-Q question yesterday).

What I’m seeking now is proof of the co-pay amount for US EpiPen customers in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 (found on prescription receipts from the pharmacy).  I know each insurance plan is different, but I’m trying to quantify the increased amounts families had to pay over the years as the EpiPen price rose and insurance plans increased their deductible.

If you would please tell me in the Comments section below or by email to esgoldenberg@gmail.com, I would appreciate it VERY much. If there’s a link or document to reference, I’d appreciate that too.

I appreciate your help very much. I have such wonderful readers, and the give and take between us has been a blessing all these years.

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I’m hoping my US readers can provide this information: What was the cost of an Auvi-Q two pack in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016?

If you would please tell me in the Comments section below or by email to esgoldenberg@gmail.com, I would appreciate it VERY much. If there’s a link or document to reference, I’d appreciate that too.

There’s ample information online about EpiPen lately, but I haven’t been able to find the Auvi-Q price info in my research.

Thank you in advance for your help : )  Have a happy day!

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Mohammed Zaman, age 53 owner of Indian Garden in North Yorkshire, England was sentenced to 6 years in prison for manslaughter by gross negligence as a result of his customer’s fatal allergic reaction to the food served. He was also found guilty of six food safety offences.

Paul Wilson, deceased at age 38

Customer Paul Wilson, deceased at age 38, advised servers that he is allergic to peanuts and ordered a nut-free meal that was provided clearly marked “no nuts”. It was later determined that in an effort to cut costs, Zaman used groundnut powder containing peanut instead of more expensive almond powder in his food, and the meal contained very high level of peanut.

Zaman argued that this was not his fault, as his six restaurants were run by managers, not by him personally. Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, asked: “You choose to blame other people, Mr Zaman, rather than taking any responsibility yourself, and that is your approach to the case, isn’t it?” The defendant replied: “Yes, that is the reality.”

To make matters even worse, a previous customer almost died from his food and a Trading Standards investigation was ongoing at the time of Paul Wilson’s death after a 16-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for several days having suffered an allergic reaction after eating take out from one of Zaman’s other restaurants. The prosecutor commented that Zaman’s conviction, the first of its kind in Britain, sets an example around the world that restaurant owners should be held accountable for not meeting allergy needs.

Wilson was found dead on the bathroom floor by his roommate as a result of severe anaphylactic shock. For free training on how to treat anaphylactic shock, click here.

North Yorkshire Police’s Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Shaun Page, said: … “Paul’s death was avoidable and the outcome of this case sends a clear message to those who operate similar businesses that if they choose to operate in such a grossly negligent way, they are liable to prosecution as well as having to live with the potential deadly consequences.”

*Please share this article using the Facebook and Twitter icons below, or by copying and pasting this link: http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2016/05/six-years-in-prison-for-restaurant-owner-due-to-customers-allergic-reaction/

Sources:

http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/16776 Accessed 30 May 2016

http://globalnews.ca/news/2720994/penny-pinching-restaurateur-jailed-after-peanut-allergy-customer-dies-from-no-nuts-dish/?sf26926438=1 Accessed 30 May 2016

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3012093/Curry-takeaway-owner-charged-manslaughter-customer-died-severe-peanut-allergy.html Accessed 30 May 2016

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/peanut-allergy-death-not-my-fault-says-yorkshire-curry-house-owner-1-7914496 Accessed 30 May 2016

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