The Anaphylaxis Campaign has the opportunity to make a hard hitting short film warning severely allergic young adults that if they do not carry their adrenaline auto-injectors (AAI) with them at ALL times, the consequences could be fatal.
To make this potentially life saving film, the charity urgently needs to raise £30,000. Timing for the fund raising is very tight: filming is scheduled to start on 5 September, when the donated facilities for the project will be available.
Please help fund this project! Scroll down for details of the ways to donate…
The teenage years
I’ve been told on several occasions by more experienced nut mums that, looking back, the toddler years and the teenage years were the most challenging. One mum told me that she found there was a period in childhood where her son was happy to follow “the rules”, but that the teenage stage was an entirely different kettle of fish.
In her blog post Don’t let this mistake be your last, Issy from the Anaphylaxis Campaign highlighted some of the risks posed by the teenage social scene:
“I think back to all the times we naively put [allergic] friends at risk by eating at curry houses, going on nights out and sharing drinks – all without either of them knowing where their adrenaline auto-injectors were or even what to do with them if something were to go wrong.”
Key message: always carry your EpiPen
(…or Jext or Emerade…)
Anaphylaxis affects approximately 1 in 15 young people in the UK. Swift use of the AAI is the first line of defence against a life threatening allergic reaction. However, the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s 2012 survey of 500 allergic 15 – 25 year olds found that over 1/3 of those prescribed an AAI did not always carry it. What’s more, of the 77% of respondents who said they had never used their AAI, half had been admitted to hospital because of their allergy.
(image courtesy of Anaphylaxis Campaign)
A film to highlight the dangers of anaphylaxis to 15 – 25 year olds
Given these findings, the film will specifically target 15 to 25 year olds. Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO Lynne Regent explained that the film will aim to both:
- De-stigmatise both anaphylaxis and the carrying and use of adrenaline.
- Raise awareness of anaphylaxis as a condition and dissuade bullying and discrimination towards those affected.
Self consciousness, stigmatisation, bullying and discrimination could have fatal consequences for a young adult with severe allergies. As Issy summed it up in her blog:
“For anyone affected by anaphylaxis, your worst mistake could be as trivial as forgetting your adrenaline auto-injector, or thinking you’ll be fine without it. And what’s worse, this one simple mistake could end up costing you your life…
So, all in all, this is an incredibly worthwhile project that, first and foremost, could save lives. In addition, it might help to alleviate some of the anxiety felt by parents of allergic children, if it becomes the widely accepted social norm amongst young adults for those with anaphylaxis to carry their meds. It will also help to educate those whose lives aren’t directly affected by anaphylaxis that severe allergies are life threatening.