Increase in hospital admissions for allergies

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New figures indicate that the number of allergic reaction patients admitted to hospital is increasing.

Almost 20% of those admitted to NHS hospitals in England due to allergies were recorded as having experienced an anaphylactic reaction.

The figures which have been obtained from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) indicate that around 4070 people suffering from anaphylactic reactions were admitted from March 2013 to February 2014. This is a 9.9% increase on the same period during the previous year.

Anaphylactic shock can develop with a few minutes of contact with allergens, such as nuts, medications or insect bites. It can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency.

HSCIC has indicated that the number of people being admitted for shock due to a reaction to food has increased by 13.2% with a one-year period.

The total number of hospital admission due to allergies has increased. England’s NHS hospitals admitted 20318 patients during the 12 month period ending February 2014. This is a 7.7% increase on the previous year.

Hospitals have seen a 6.2% increase in emergency hospital admissions due to allergic reactions and these types of cases now account for at least three in five allergic reaction admissions.

Babies and toddlers under the age of four were most at risk and suffered the highest rate of admission.

The chief executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign charity, Lynne Regent, said that figures on the burden placed on hospitals due to severe allergies have not previously been available and this information places the spotlight on the requirement for improvements and further investment in allergy care.

Image Credit: John Keane

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