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Sanofi Survey Finds Travel Puts Those With Severe Allergies On High Alert

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new nationwide survey* commissioned by Sanofi US, the makers of Auvi-Q™ (epinephrine injection, USP), 65% of caregivers of children with a severe allergy to food, insect stings or other causes reported that their child has had a severe allergic reaction while on vacation. The nationwide survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, a leading market research firm, also showed that 70% of adults at risk for anaphylaxis have had a severe allergic reaction while taking a trip.

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With Labor Day around the corner – one of the busiest travel weekends of the year – it is essential that people with a severe allergy are prepared in case of an emergency. Yet despite guidelines emphasizing the life-saving role of epinephrine, 68% of adults at risk for anaphylaxis and nearly half (49%) of all caregivers of children with a severe allergy surveyed, reported to have forgotten or left behind their or their child's epinephrine auto-injector while away.

"As someone severely allergic to shellfish and a frequent traveler, I understand firsthand the importance of being prepared for an unexpected severe allergic reaction," said football legend Jerome Bettis, who is a spokesperson for Auvi-Q. "It's critical that I plan ahead. This includes avoiding my allergen and letting restaurant staff know about my severe allergy; making sure I always carry my two Auvi-Q epinephrine auto-injectors; and knowing the number for emergency medical assistance in the area I'm visiting." Bettis has been working with Sanofi throughout the year on a number of activities to raise awareness of severe allergies.

Allergy Hot Spots: Whether traveling halfway across the world or one town away, severe allergies can make travel stressful. In fact, almost all (99%) of those surveyed said they are worried about experiencing a severe allergic reaction at one or more outings.
  • Worry spots for caregivers of food allergic children (n=142) include restaurants (65%), someone else's home (63%), and picnics or BBQs (59%).
  • Those caring for children with insect sting allergies (n=117) reported being worried at a picnic or BBQ (67%), on vacation (64%), and at the pool or beach (61%).

Road Reaction: The risk that comes with eating outside the home for those with food allergies is very real. Seventy-six percent of those adults with a food allergy that were surveyed (n=176) have had a severe allergic reaction while on vacation or taking a trip. Here's how those adults or caregivers of children living with a food allergy surveyed (n=260) said they manage on the road:
  • 75% responded that they verify all ingredients and preparation methods before eating.
  • 57% responded that they make allergy-friendly food at home to bring and eat.

Don't Let the Bad Bugs Bite: Avoiding bees, wasps and other insects can be a challenge in the Summer. Seventy percent of those adults with an insect sting allergy surveyed (n=172) have experienced a severe allergic reaction while on vacation or taking a trip. What steps do those adults or caregivers of children living with an insect sting allergy surveyed (n=224) take when going outdoors?
  • More than half responded that they wear shoes when outdoors (63%) as well as avoid clothes with bright colors and floral patterns (54%).

"Although it is encouraging that many people take steps to manage their risk for a severe allergic reaction, the high percentage of people surveyed experiencing anaphylaxis while away still points to the need for increased education on allergen avoidance and always carrying an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency," said Dr. Myron Zitt, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Director of the Adult Allergy Clinic at Nassau University Medical Center, and consultant to Sanofi US. "I want my patients to enjoy their vacations, which is why I emphasize the importance of having an action plan in place to be prepared for an unexpected allergic reaction."

Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) is the first-and-only epinephrine auto-injector with audio and visual cues for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions in people who are at risk for or have a history of anaphylaxis. The size and shape of a credit card and the thickness of a smartphone, Auvi-Q is a breakthrough in epinephrine auto-injector design that talks patients and caregivers step-by-step through the injection process.

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