Hymenoptera Venom Allergy. A closer collaboration is needed between allergists and emergency physicians


Background. Hymenoptera stings are sometimes fatal in venom-allergic patients. Fatalities mostly occur in previously stung subjects, especially those with a history of systemic reactions, and could be avoided if patients were properly informed of the existence of a prevention strategy for insect stings, referred to an allergy follow-up and prescribed auto-injectable epinephrine and/or venom-specific immunotherapy (VIT). We sought to assess knowledge and awareness of Hymenoptera Venom Allergy (HVA) in a small sample of Emergency Physicians in our geographic area. Methods. An eight-point questionnaire on HVA was administered to Emergency Department physicians working in the six largest ED in Naples. Results. Twenty-seven physicians completed the questionnaire. Twenty/27 (74%) were unaware of the classification of Hymenoptera sting reactions, 11/27 (41%) were unaware of the existence of prevention strategies such as VIT, 18/27 (67%) did not refer HVA patients to a specialist follow up. One/27 (4%) prescribed auto-injectable epinephrine and 100% wish better information on the topic. Conclusions. In our survey we found a number of ED physicians whose knowledge of HVA, beyond the emergency treatment, is not satisfactory. A closer collaboration among ED physicians and allergists is urgently needed.

Table of Content: Vol. 49 (No. 1) 2017 January

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