Allergy diagnoses on the rise as nearly 2,200 epi-pens prescribed in Jersey

Credit: ITV Channel

The number of adrenaline auto-injectors dispensed to people in Jersey each year has increased by nearly 1,000 since records began.

2022 saw the most given out with 2,199 devices dispensed across the year, compared to just 1,299 in 2014.

The devices, the most common of which is the epi-pen, are used by those at risk of serious allergic reactions.

Part of the reason for the increase is a change in medical advice around the use of the devices, but it also matches a wider increase in the number of people suffering from allergies in the UK and elsewhere. 

The figures show numbers are more stable in Guernsey with a peak of 460 prescriptions in 2017. 

They also found that there have been more than 930 hospital visits in Guernsey for allergic reactions or anaphylaxis since 2017.

Similar data for Jersey, dating back to 2012, puts the number of attendances at 3,549 with the last three years showing year-on-year increases. 

Records show that no one has died in Jersey or Guernsey from an allergic reaction. 

Cathryn Melchior, a Specialist Allergy Nurse, said the number of people with allergies was increasing and that this was a problem that "is not going to go away" 

She said: "Appropriate access to accurate diagnosis, good advice to patients on allergen avoidance, all of these things are critical and at present there's a patchy meeting of that need". 

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