Allergy admissions up 23 per cent at St Helier and Epsom hospitals in last three years

Sneezing is a sign of an allergy

Sneezing is a sign of an allergy

First published in News Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The number of people admitted to hospital for allergic reactions has gone up by 23 per cent in the last three years.

Figures released by Epsom and St Helier hospitals show a sharp surge in hospital stays and experts have stressed the importance of suffers managing their allergies properly.

In 2011-12 just 185 patients were treated for allergic reactions, in 2013-14 that rose to 228 - and more than half of those were emergency admissions.

Joint medical director Dr James Marsh said: "Approximately one in four people suffer from an allergy, so it is relatively common and for the most part, will not require hospital treatment.  However, these figures highlight just how important it is to manage your allergy and to know the early warning signs of having a serious allergic reaction.

"In rare circumstances, allergies can induce a severe reaction, which can be potentially life-threatening.  This is known as anaphylaxis and although it is relatively uncommon, it can affect people of all ages."

Signs of anaphylaxis include itchy skin, rashes, swollen lips, hands and feet, feeling faint, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Dr Marsh added:  "If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction, make sure you take your emergency adrenaline treatment with you everywhere.

"Wear a MedicAlert or Medi-Tag medallion or bracelet so that people are aware of your allergy in an emergency. Consider telling your teachers, work colleagues and friends, so they can give you your adrenaline injection in an emergency, while waiting for an ambulance.  Following this advice could save your life."

For more information about allergies, visit www.nhs.uk. 

 

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