Patient Education

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When healthcare professionals are dealing with patients, it is very important to educate patients effectively so that they can recognise when they are having a reaction, when to use their auto injector, and when to get professional help.

Patients can be referred to an appropriate allergy clinic where they undergo further testing and receive advice to ensure that the correct treatment plan is created for them. You do not only need to train patients on what to do in an emergency, but also how to recognise and avoid the substance that causes the reaction. Training will include looking at situations that could increase risk. These scenarios include parties, eating out, holidays, and reading labels on foods correctly.

Patients at risk are usually advised to carry their adrenaline auto-injector with them at all times. Patients and those close to them such as family, close friends, and caretakers should also receive training in using the auto-injector. They should also practise regularly using a suitable training device so that they will know what to do in an emergency. Information about managing severe allergies can be obtained from their allergy specialist, general practitioner, other healthcare professional, or the Anaphylaxis Campaign.

If training children, this is harder as they may feel left out compared to their friends. This is why overall training in schools to all teachers and children is needed to ensure that everyone understands how serious the condition is and that everyone does all they can to help avoid the patient being put at risk.

Specific guidance and training is available for schools with children at risk of allergic reactions from many organisations like Allergywise and the anaphylaxis campaign.

All those at high risk of an anaphylactic reaction should consider wearing some device, such as a Medic Alert bracelet to provide information about their anaphylactic reaction. With any treatments or education, it is important to keep records of what you advise to patients.