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Boyfriend Unaware of Deadly Peanut Allergy (Update)
AP ^ | November 30, 2005 | PHIL COUVRETTE

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.

TOPICS: Canada; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allergies; anaphylacticshock; cartersfault; death; foodallergies; kissofdeath; peanutallergy; peanutbutter; peanuts
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To: jdm
Peanuts don't bother me but I have varying reactions to many kinds of fresh fruits and veggies. About the only safe fruits for me to eat are citrus and apples -- and even then, not much.

With fresh veggies I am pretty much limited to lettuce, cabbage, and carrots. Strangely, I don't have any problems with them after they are cooked.

The very worst is avocado. Just the slightest touch of guacamole or any avocado product is enough to make my throat swell shut in less than a minute. Fortunately I am very suspicious of anything that might contain avocado products and stay very far away from them.

Allergic reactions can be amazingly fast. That makes them even more scary.
61 posted on 11/30/2005 9:21:41 PM PST by Ronin (When the fox gnaws.... SMILE!!!)
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To: Prodigal Son; Salvey
I'm not allergic to anything.

Echoing Salvey, you never know when it could happen. Not all people with severe allergies were born that way, or even developed the allergy early on.

I am allergic (well, I don't know if it counts as an allergy, but it burns like hell now) to alluminum zirconium (whatever the heck the thing in 99% of anti-persperants is called). It just happened one day when I was 26 years old...I put on the same Right Guard Sports Stick as I had for the longest time, and POOF, my armpits were ABLAZE! I had to spend 30 minutes in a cold shower just washing and scrubbing to make it stop hurting. You won't realize this until it happens to you, but geometrically it is impossible to get both armpits under the cold water at the same time...some kind of space-time thing :-(

Funny (ha ha) thing is that it took 1 more day for me to realize what was going on...the next day it was the same thing!

Now I either have to go stinky or look for the rare product that uses Aluminum Chloro-something. Ban Classic used to be my only choice, but now that one isn't around...but I digress...

62 posted on 11/30/2005 9:31:13 PM PST by krb (ad hominem arguments are for stupid people)
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To: Hildy
Can you tell me what an Epi Pen is?

I know you weren't asking me, but it is a self injection device for allergic reactions (peanuts, bee stings, etc.)

Everyone should know how to use one. Everyone.

63 posted on 11/30/2005 9:44:04 PM PST by Semper911 ("We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." -Marge Simpson)
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To: teenyelliott

With her allergy it could kill her. She has to have the epipen as well because she stops breathing. Her's is different from most in that it is just like the peanut allergy, because generally with a milk allergy you outgrow it. She begged to be retested, so my sister took her to the doctor recently to test and she had a really bad test. The doctor said she will not outgrow this, just keep her away from dairy prod. She can have rice milk, so they use that for everything. But poor girl can't have chocolate, pizza, et. I feel for you. It is very frustrating for my sister because of all of us well meaning people around her. In the early years we just didn't understand the allergy.

64 posted on 12/01/2005 4:30:44 AM PST by EmilyGeiger
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To: Semper911

I did not know that.

65 posted on 12/01/2005 7:19:10 AM PST by Hildy
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To: Ronin

Hmm avocados....don't avocados have that unusual kind of oil in them? I always hear it's the kind that's good for you, but I've never heard of that.

66 posted on 12/01/2005 7:20:38 AM PST by Hildy
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To: GatorGirl

I think that you usually faint from the low blood pressure, the swelling is a little slower.

67 posted on 12/01/2005 7:25:43 AM PST by Eva
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To: Mears
I don't get this. This was unheard of years ago. When did it start,and why? It's a puzzlement.

It is. There's actually an upswing in a lot of things -- juvenile diabetes, for instance. Hard to say exactly why. My guess is that it has something to do with subtle environmental factors tripping a "predisposition" to the malady, whatever it is.

68 posted on 12/01/2005 7:30:02 AM PST by r9etb
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To: teenyelliott
"There is no way to tell how allergic they are, until they are exposed."

There is a blood test which can tell you how allergic your child is to peanuts. My 11 year-old son is VERY high risk but his numbers have been dropping over the last 3-4 years. They can also test for any number of food allergies with the same blood sample. We just tested for a number of tree nuts as well. My son is pretty low on these (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.) but we are avoiding all of them for now.

Send me a Freepmail if you would like more information.

69 posted on 12/01/2005 8:14:30 AM PST by Boss_Jim_Gettys (Willing to compromise...NOT)
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To: toneythetiger

I have several co-workers with severely peanut allergic children.

My anecdotal evidence is that all their children were found to be peanut allergic soon after they had their DPT (diptheria, pertussis, tetanus) shot around 1 year old.

My humble, amateur opinion is that studies need to be done on the "combo" vaccines that kids are getting these days from birth to 1 year old. When I was younger, I don't remember there being combo shots. I thought each vaccine was given separately.

70 posted on 12/01/2005 8:17:20 AM PST by nhoward14 (Confucius say: War doesn't determine who's right. War determines who's left.)
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To: hole_n_one

FYI, TBS will air "The Strike" on December 16th at 9PM Eastern. Set your TIVO'S/DVR's. This episode is from season 9, I think, and won't be out on DVD for another year or more.

71 posted on 12/01/2005 8:21:39 AM PST by Trust but Verify (( ))
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To: Salvey
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! At age 50 I went from a lifetime of just ragweed allergies to allergic reactions to many dozens of different types of food. Allergies suck...and the doctors do pretty much nothing about it except to caution you to what you can and can not eat. In my case it morphed from massive hives and occasion bouts of anaphylaxis, to acting as a neurotoxin. bad stuff.
72 posted on 12/01/2005 10:13:14 AM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" R. A. Heinlein)
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To: Hildy
I see someone else told you about the EpiPen.

I carry one in my purse at all times, and have another in the house. Her teachers will always have to have one, too. And she will have to carry one her entire life.

The theory is, if she has a reaction, the epinephrine will give her time enough to get to the emergency room.

73 posted on 12/01/2005 10:14:39 AM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: Mears

Thanks. I guess this allergy is the price she has to pay for being such an absolute jewel of a human being. My husband says every time she wakes up, it's like getting a little present.

74 posted on 12/01/2005 10:18:06 AM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: toneythetiger
Oh, I know there are possible side effects from immunizations, just like any medication. As a parent, you simply have to weigh the pros and cons. I do not get the chicken pox vaccine for my kids, but you bet your bippy they get the diphtheria vaccination.

You sounded like you were saying that the medical community was purposefully manufacturing ways to make people have deadly allergies, so that they could make more money.

75 posted on 12/01/2005 10:21:07 AM PST by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: toneythetiger

I am interested in the connection between immunizations and later health problems. If there are any websites/links you can recommend at your convencience, I would appreiciate it. Thanks!

Also, if you have info about Tamiflu and its possible efficacy for Avian flu and/or side effects, that would be cool.

Sorry about being OT!

76 posted on 12/01/2005 10:24:44 AM PST by little jeremiah
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To: Ditto

I think its some toxin in our enviroment. Maybe too much plastic or something that is lowering our immune systems too much. One theory (this is counter to mine) is that kids are being raised in TOO clean of an enviroment, thus they are not getting exposed to germs and microbes early enough for the body to develop resistance to it.

77 posted on 12/01/2005 10:25:31 AM PST by Clock King ("How will it end?" - Emperor; "In Fire." - Kosh)
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To: Godebert
Yup........ and that George Washington Carver fella.

You may be on to something.... GWC is a major hero of mine, whose life I studied intensely from the 4th grade on. See my previous post. One of the things he did with peanuts and the their oil is derive various synthetics. You've made me think, could it be an over-exposure in our enviroment to these synthetics? Hmmm. Something to research further... And I mean real research, not just, "I surfed the 'Net and found this cool stuff."

78 posted on 12/01/2005 10:31:06 AM PST by Clock King ("How will it end?" - Emperor; "In Fire." - Kosh)
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To: xjcsa

He's from the future so he should know... ;-/

79 posted on 12/01/2005 10:37:15 AM PST by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
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To: teenyelliott

For what it's worth,I had a miserable,sickly childhood. We were poor,it was the Great Depression,and my father died.

There were some "delightful" folks who told my poor mother that I would never live.

In my early twenties everything just fell into place and here I am ,a mother and grandmother, and remarkably healthy.

80 posted on 12/01/2005 12:44:40 PM PST by Mears (The Killer Queen)
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