New campaign launched by MP who could have been killed by nutty treat

Auchinairn Pharmacy, Launch of Anaphylaxis scheme with  Pharmacy owner Martin Green and Jo Swinson.'Photo Emma Mitchell'9/8/13
Auchinairn Pharmacy, Launch of Anaphylaxis scheme with Pharmacy owner Martin Green and Jo Swinson.'Photo Emma Mitchell'9/8/13

A new campaign to tackle deadly allergies has been backed by East Dunbartonshire’s MP – months after her own life was put in danger.

Jo Swinson went into anaphylactic shock after inadvertently eating nuts earlier this summer – and only prompt medical attention averted a potentially lethal outcome.

Community Pharmacy Scotland, which represents the owners of Scotland’s 1,250 community pharmacies, asked the MP to help them launch their awareness and anaphylaxis emergency treatment campaign at Auchinairn Pharmacy in Bishopbriggs.

Martin Green, chairman of Community Pharmacy Scotland, said: “Jo’s own case was very high profile, and brought what is a very real – and for those affected – a very terrifying issue to light.

“Those who suffer from some of these serious allergies – for example to nuts, shellfish, or insect bites and stings – know that an attack can be lethal and getting help quickly is essential.

“We have been engaging with our members and with anaphylaxis and allergy charities to see what we might helpfully do to help raise awareness and to provide greater access to emergency treatment.

“That is why we have asked our members to sign up to providing emergency anaphylaxis treatment – and more than half have already committed.”

Ms Swinson added: “I was immensely grateful for the prompt and excellent medical treatment I received at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital when I had to use my adrenaline injector.

“Anaphylaxis is an extreme and severe allergic reaction which can affect the whole body within minutes, though sometimes it takes hours. It’s always important for those with severe allergies to have an adrenalin injector with them, either an EpiPen or Jext both of which you can get with a prescription.

“I wholeheartedly support the Community Pharmacy Scotland campaign and their work to improve access to emergency treatment.

“I would encourage pharmacists, and anyone else for that matter, to spread the message of the importance of giving adrenalin and calling an ambulance as soon as possible after someone reacts.”

In the UK around 20-30 deaths due to anaphylaxis occur annually.

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