Woman dies from allergic reaction to nut spread

Family of woman agrees to donate her organs; 26-year-old ordered dessert at cafe, and despite alerting staff to allergy, received hazelnut spread.

By
July 21, 2011 18:45
1 minute read.
Nuts

Nuts. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The family of a 26-year-old woman who went into brain death from a severe asthmatic reaction after eating a Belgian waffle that without her knowledge contained nuts to which she was allergic agreed to donate her organs for transplant on Thursday.

The young woman, from Eilat, went to a Tel Aviv cafe with her friends and ordered the sweet dessert. According to her friends, she told the staff she was very allergic to nuts and asked to make sure that what she was getting was Shahar-type pure chocolate without nuts. But it was made from Nutella chocolate spread, which contains hazelnuts.

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After eating the dessert, she had a severe reaction and was rushed to the hospital after extensive resuscitation efforts by Magen David Adom paramedics. During the first three days, she was given a number of treatments that stabilized her condition, but later, her condition declined and she went into brain death from which there is no recovery. The tragic error occurred a week ago but her death occurred at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a few days ago a 10-month-old boy who was discovered to be allergic to tehina was saved by Rambam Medical Center doctors from complications that could have killed him. Dr. Gal Neuman of the pediatrics A department of the Haifa hospital said the first expression of the allergic was a rash on his face.

His parents called a Magen David Adom ambulance, whose medics gave him a shot of adrenalin, which halted the allergic reaction. In cases of serious food allergies, the face and neck may swell, and edema of the mouth and throat can cause choking. If the parents had not noticed the initial rash, said Neuman, the case could have ended tragically.

The baby was treated for allergy, put under observation and then sent home. Rambam doctors said that pediatric allergies to sesame seeds and tehina are not very common, but in Israel -- with wide exposure at a young age, they do occur quite often. In the event of a family history to such allergies, consult an allergy specialist.


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