Friday, September 4, 2009

Allergic Reactions to Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Commercial Airlines

The September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology just came out. One article in particular caught my eye - a letter to the editor entitled "Self-reported allergic reactions to peanut and tree nuts occurring on commercial airlines" (click to read the full article).

There were many interesting data points, namely that, "in 63.8% of the cases, respondents provided advance notification of allergy to the airline and requested special accommodations, but only 38.6% who made such a request actually received an accommodation. Reported routes of exposure included ingestion, 15.7%; inhalation, 48.6%; skin contact, 27.9%; and unknown, 7.8%."

Rates of use of epinephrine, use of an antihistamine, and percentage of people who alerted the flight crew were all a bit surprising, suggesting to the authors the need for more education in order to protect individuals with food allergy flying commercially.

As with most studies, there are some limitations to the data, which are described at the end of the article.

Click here for tips for traveling with food allergies.

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