Sunday, December 22, 2013


Hey Pharms in the house, i saw this article on and it is an interesting case considering all that we know as pharmacists.  I would love to hear your opinion on whether you think what the pharmacist did was right and what you think would have been your own reaction.

Here is the article....  

Teenager, 14, who had allergic reaction to peanuts at Chinese buffet died in the street after chemist refused to give her a life-saving adrenaline injection

A 14-year-old girl died in the street after a pharmacy refused her a life-saving adrenaline injection when she suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts at a Chinese buffet.
Emma Sloan was denied an EpiPen shot - a special allergy injection - which by law, cannot be obtained from a chemist without a prescription, the Herald reported.
Ireland's Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald last night called for an inquiry into the death
It was reported on RTÉ that the pharmacy regulatory body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, is examining the case.
The teenager told her mother that she became unable to breathe after eating satay sauce in a Chinese restaurant in Dublin, it was reported.

Caroline Sloan was said to have asked a nearby pharmacist for an EpiPen injection which would have released adrenaline to Emma, but the pharmacist said rules forbade them giving out the pen without a prescription.
Ms Sloan, from Drimnagh, Dublin, was about to take her daughter to Temple Street Hospital in the city but Emma died on the street surrounded by a crowd, according to reports.
Ms Sloan told the Herald newspaper: ‘I’m so angry. I was not given the EpiPen. I was told to bring her to A&E.’

Ms Sloan, 40, said her daughter was a ‘beautiful, smart and funny girl – one of a kind.’
She appealed to parents of children with nut allergies to always carry an EpiPen.
‘I was told to bring Emma to an A&E department. Emma was allergic to nuts and was very careful. How could a peanut kill my child?’ she told the Herald.
The mother told how she and Emma, along with her other daughters Amy, 20, and Mia, 2, and Ms Sloan’s sister, Susan, had gone for dinner on Wednesday at 6.30pm.
The teenager, who had a nut allergy, ate satay sauce, which contains peanuts, but Ms Sloan said they had thought it was curry sauce. ‘It looked and smelled like curry sauce,’ she said.
‘I’m not blaming the restaurant because there was a sign reading 'nuts contained' but it wasn’t noticed.
Moments after eating the sauce, Emma is said to have told her mother that she couldn't breathe. Ms Sloan said they left the restaurant and went around the corner to a nearby chemist. 

The heartbroken mother told the Herald that a worker at the pharmacy told her ‘I couldn’t get it without a prescription. He told me to bring her to A&E I left and I knew we’d have to run all the way to Temple Street Hospital.’

But just metres from the pharmacy the teenager collapsed on the ground and died on the pavement surrounded by onlookers. A doctor, who was passing by, tried to assist, placing Emma into the recovery position but the rescue attempt was unsuccessful. Ambulance staff and firefighters also tried to aid in the recovery but Emma was not responsive. The teenager died in front of her toddler sister Mia. ‘My daughter Amy held Mia in her arms as Emma died,’ Ms Sloan said. ‘Mia saw her die.’

Ms Sloan had just bought her two tickets for the X Factor tour as a Christmas present. She had been a fan of teenage singer Luke Friend. The mother described the fashion-conscious girl as ‘beautiful, smart and funny.’ ‘She wanted to be a make-up artist,’ Ms Sloan said. ‘Every day she’d have a different look.  She loved boys and music and make-up and clothes. ‘Emma was a very attractive girl and had modelled for her class recently at Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in Drimnagh. ‘She was due to sit the Junior Cert in June.  She was a beautiful, smart and funny girl.  If I could sum her up in one sentence she was one of a kind. ‘I took down the Christmas tree this morning – I’ll never celebrate Christmas again.’

The pharmacy made no comment, saying it had been asked by the gardaí (Ireland's police force) not to make a statement. However pharmaceutical regulations do prohibit the sale of an EpiPen injection without a prescription. EpiPens are classed as S1B drugs, because they contain adrenaline with the potential to cause harm. This means they cannot be obtained without a prescription. A staff member at Jimmy Chung’s restaurant said that a sign had been visible which read ‘Satay Sauce. Nuts contained.’

A statement from the restaurant manager Tony Shek read: ‘The staff are often asked by family members if foods contain nuts. But nothing was mentioned to any staff yesterday.’
A security man at Clarks Shoe store close to where the 14-year-old died, Mujahid Najeebhun told the Herald he had witnessed the moments after the girl collapsed. He said: ‘I saw the girl lying on the ground.  She was in the recovery position on the pavement. A woman was shouting “My daughter is dying. My daughter is dying.” ‘People saw the fire brigade at the traffic lights and they were shouting at them to hurry up.’


 Peanut allergies are often diagnosed in children who are less than two years old.
Currently in the UK, one in 100 people suffer from an allergy to the nuts, with the majority suffering the affliction for life. An allergy to peanuts is the most severe of all food allergies, with the symptoms of a reaction triggered by a tiny trace of peanut protein. Peanuts provide a cheap source of dietary protein and so they are commonly used in a wide range of products. Currently there exists no treatment for the allergy and sufferers with a severe form are forced to avoid nuts altogether.

The Department of Health advises that for children under the age of three, whose parents have a history of allergies, also avoid peanuts. As with other allergies, a peanut allergy, is caused by an over-reaction of the body's immune system to the protein. When a sufferer is struck by a reaction they typically develop a rash on the face or body. Sneezing, coughing and choking, wheezing and having trouble breathing are also symptoms. Severe reactions are known as anaphylatic shock. Anaphylaxsis can be fatal if it is not treated.

While there is currently no cure for a peanut allergy, sufferers can carry a pre-loaded adrenaline injection, known as an EpiPen.  And antihistamine can be used for more minor reactions. EpiPen's contain a single dose of epinephrine, which is injected into a sufferers thigh muscle.

My Thoughts: First of all knowing that the child was allergic to nuts they should never have left their epipen at home. Then i can just stress that they were careless in not asking about the content of the food. But as they are humans, they can forget. No human is above forgetting things. Now to the pharmacist, i believe in all countries, the focus is the patient. I doubt the mother would have asked for epipen desperately without reason or on credit. Since they said the child was on the street, it won't have taken much for the pharmacist to have followed the mother to the child and later gotten a prescription from the child's doctor when the child has been stabilized or even the doctor that was passing by. But then again i really don't know how strict the laws are there. However i really do hope that if i was in that kind of situation in that country i would have given it regardless of the consequences. 

So over to you guys? What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by and click, click, click away...

Luv ya,
Petite Diva....

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