Nfld. & Labrador

Allergic reaction prompts parents to push EpiPen knowledge

A Corner Brook couple wants other parents to familiarize themselves with the EpiPen after their young son suffered a severe allergic reaction earlier in the week.
3-year-old Liam Fitzgerald was rushed to hospital in Corner Brook on Wednesday following a severe allergic reaction. (Submitted by Ben Fitzgerald )

A Corner Brook couple wants other parents to familiarize themselves with the EpiPen after their young son suffered a severe allergic reaction earlier in the week.

Ben Fitzgerald's three-year-old son, Liam, showed signs of a mild allergic reaction when his mother picked him up from daycare on Wednesday afternoon .

Within five minutes of being home, the toddler went into full-blown anaphylactic shock.

"At that point he proceeded to projectile vomit and his body was in fight mode — of course, panic ensued," said Fitzgerald.

This was the first time the young boy had experienced such a violent attack. He mistakenly ate another child's peanut lunch at the daycare. 

"I think we, as parents, failed to inject an EpiPen right away," said Fitzgerald. Instead, the pair contacted their family doctor who advised them to rush Liam to a hospital. 

The boy remained in hospital for seven hours and received three rounds of epinephrine, several needles and an intravenous.

 "We were met with very professional staff who are very empathetic but also took the time to educate us on the importance of the EpiPen ... it really hit home," Fitzgerald said. 

In light of his son's close call, Fitzgerald wants other parents to familiarize themselves with the medical-injecting tool as well. 

"If you're travelling on the Northern Peninsula or somewhere where you're hours away from a hospital, one EpiPen gives you 20 minutes. So you really need several EpiPens to feel comfortable," he said.

He suggests parents go online and watch videos on how to properly handle an allergic reaction.

Fitzgerald said the family will better advertise Liam's allergy in the future with a medial alert bracelet. 

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