Peanut-allergy death: Warning from mother of woman killed by a kiss
A late-night kiss proved deadly for a severely-allergic Quebec woman who didn’t know her boyfriend recently ate peanuts, and now her mother wants to share the story so others might avoid her fate.
A coroner's report on Myriam Ducre-Lemay’s death in 2012 concluded that new boyfriend was unaware of her peanut allergy, and she was not carrying an EpiPen or wearing a Medical Alert bracelet when she began having trouble breathing.
Years later, Micheline Ducre is sharing her daughter's story, in hopes that will drive home the importance of disclosing your allergies to those around you and carrying an EpiPen.
Dr. Christine McCusker, head of pediatric allergy and immunology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, says teens and young adults between 15 and 30 years old tend to be in the "risk age range" when it comes to severe allergies.
"That’s the range when kids are going out more, they're spending less time under the watchful eye of their parents, they're taking a few more risks and they're not as likely to be carrying their EpiPens," McCusker told CTV Montreal on Tuesday.
She said any delay between the onset of allergic reaction symptoms, such as shortness of breath or an itchy mouth, and administering the first dose of epinephrine is a significant risk factor in the development of severe anaphylaxis or anaphylactic death.
"(This) is why you have to carry your EpiPen, even though you don't want to and even though it's not cool," McCusker said.
She noted that other respiratory conditions, such as asthma, increases the risk associated with allergies.
McCusker said traces of allergens, such as peanuts, can stay in an individual's saliva for up to four hours after eating the food.
"The most important part of managing your allergies is that you have to inform people," she said. "You have to say, 'Listen guys, I have food allergies, I have my EpiPen. If there's a problem, help me.'"
McCusker said, while many young people think they will outgrow peanut allergies, only one in five typically do.
She said the scariest thing about food allergies is how fast the reaction can escalate.
"People don’t necessarily recognize (that) it can go from that point where, 'I feel funny' to 'Uh oh' very fast."
With a report from CTV Montreal