Skip to comments.Boyfriend Unaware of Deadly Peanut Allergy (Update)
Posted on 11/30/2005 5:40:53 PM PST by jdm
Thinking she was having an asthma attack, Christina Desforges burst into a friend's room and woke him in a desperate search for medicine.
Friends called an ambulance as her breathing grew labored, but Desforges collapsed a moment after she stepped outside. She died four days later.
It quickly became clear the 15-year-old girl succumbed to a peanut allergy _ not from nuts she ate, but a peanut-butter sandwich her boyfriend had consumed before kissing her that day.
A friend of the couple said in a television interview that Desforges' boyfriend and other companions had no idea she was allergic to peanuts. An allergist said Wednesday that the teenager's friends and relatives should have been warned about her condition.
"Some people have an extremely low threshold," said Dr. Rhoda Kagan, an allergist at Montreal Children's Hospital. "This varies greatly from person to person and is highly unpredictable."
She called Desforges's case "very rare and worrisome."
One friend, Michael St. Gelais, said he was devastated by the case.
"I felt guilty at first because if I had realized earlier she was (allergic), we could probably have saved her," he said in an interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "However, we did as much as we could and I don't think there was more we could have done."
Desforges, who lived in Saguenay, about 155 miles north of Quebec City, was almost immediately given a shot of adrenaline, a standard tool for treating anaphylactic shock brought on by an allergy to peanuts. But she died Nov. 23 at a Quebec hospital.
Symptoms of peanut allergies can include hives, plunging blood pressure and swelling of the face and throat, which can block breathing.
"There are several images stuck in my mind," St. Gelais said. "We went upstairs because she really was having more difficulty breathing. The minute we went outside, she collapsed."
A memorial was held Saturday and an autopsy was being performed Wednesday.
Desforges mother declined to talk to The Associated Press.
About 1.5 million Americans are severely allergic to even the smallest trace of peanuts, and peanut allergies account for 50 to 100 deaths in the United States each year.
Peanut allergies have been rising in recent decades. The reason remains unclear, but one study found that baby creams or lotions with peanut oil may cause children to develop allergies later in life.
I find that kind of strange. Maybe csi should look into that.
That's a heck of a thing for the boyfriend to live with.
But at least it wasn't due to licking some envelopes.
Wow. Things like this always remind me to be thankful for having normal health. I'm not allergic to anything. It's hard to imagine dying from peanut butter.
I don't get this. This was unheard of years ago.
When did it start,and why?
It's a puzzlement.
This story brought back some bad memories to me. I once kissed my wife after I ate some shrimp. A few hours later, her lips were swollen and she was breaking out in hives. What I didn't know at the time was that she had a number of allergies. Shellfish and peanuts are just two of them. Now, I have to brush my teeth and use mouthwash before I kiss her after eating shellfish and peanut products. Take it from me, these allergies are NOT to be toyed with. They are very real and deadly. I was luckier than this guy was. I feel for him for what he is and will be going through because of this unfortunate event.
It's Jimmy Carter's fault.
i dunno. i just feel really skeptical about this. i feel very BAD about my skepticism, but something just doesn't feel right. DON"T YELL AT ME!!! I CAN'T HELP BEING CYNICAL ANYMORE.
Because years ago these people all died as babies for unknown reasons.
My childhood friend has the peanut allergy, and all I can tell you is go and be that pushy overprotective, intrudingly obnoxious parent who gets to know every ingredient in school cafeterias and demands peanuts be taken out of the school menu.
The memories of the two times, several years apart, that he had an allergic reaction right in front of me, are scarred into my memory. The first time he almost died because his mother hadn't added the peanut allergy to his medical sheet yet that year, it was the first day of school, and the nurse didn't know what was wrong with him. Stay on top of it, inform everyone you know.
Well the baby-boomer generation didn't have the peanut allergies and not many died young either.I don't know one who did.
I just don't understand what changed.Not looking for an argument here--I just don't get it.
According to an allergist I saw on TV over the weekend, one can be allergy free, then in a later stage of life, develop an allergy. Yikes!
But I found out the hard way, when I got my very first ambulance ride to the hospital with my one year old baby.
And I am the LAST one to buy into all of these new fangled syndromes and diseases. I wish someone would figure out the cause, cause now I have to carry around epinephrine everywhere we go, in case my kid tries to die on me. Nice, huh?
Imagine . . .school lunches, birthday party snacks, trick or treating, any little slip could kill her.
I still obviously don't deal with it well.
What is she allergic to?