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Rise in admissions for allergic reactions

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Hospital admissions for patients suffering from allergies increased by almost 8% over the last year, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.

NHS hospitals in England dealt with 20,320 admissions for allergies in the 12 months to February. This represents a 7.7% increase from 18,860 for the previous 12 months.

More than 60% of these admissions were emergencies, and nearly one in five of admissions were for anaphylactic reactions.

The rate of admissions for allergies for both genders is highest in those aged 0-4 and it is higher in males than in females in this age group.

Hospital admissions for food allergies increased by 6.4%.

Nearly one in five of admissions were for anaphylactic reactions, an increase of 9.9% from the same period last year.

The highest rate of admissions for anaphylactic reactions was in Birmingham and the Black Country at 11.2 per 100,000 of the population. The lowest rate was in Merseyside at 5.1 per 100,000 of the population.

Chair of the information centre Kingsley Manning said: “The statistics we are publishing today provides fresh insight into hospital admissions for allergies, which have increased by almost 8% in the last year.

“In the 12 months to February, 61.8% of all allergy related hospital admissions were emergencies, a rise of just over 6%.

“This vital information on allergy admissions in England paints a clear picture for policy makers of the scale of hospital in patient care for these conditions.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • As 0-4 year old are mostly affected by this increase in allergy, could this be due to the lack of support many families get during the weaning period of a child's life, and parents understanding of what foods to give and when?
    Weaning advise has changed over the years, however there are many families who continue to rely on advise given by older relatives, when weaning began much earlier, and therefore pose a greater risk of allergy and obesity.
    Health visitors are in an ideal position in the community to engage with families about weaning, however the contact most suitable for giving this advise (12-16 weeks/4month review) is being dropped by many organisations, meaning that weaning information is given to families when their child is 6 weeks old, and unless there are any major concerns (ie. safeguarding), there is very little contact until the child has their next development review at 1yr! Considering how crucial a stage of development this is, and with the new influx of health visitors (the Government's Call to Action), surely these additional visits, which could reduce additional cost on the NHS with issues such as allergies, should not be being cut!

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