Macon, GA Teen Dies of Allergic Reaction

It is with a heavy heart that we report another teen's death from food allergy. Diallo Robbins Brinson, 15, died after eating at a restaurant with his family.  The coroner determined his allergic reaction was to macadamia nuts.

 

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This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week.  Educating those around you helps them to understand that food allergies are a life-threatening disease.  Please visit our Food Allergy Resources for freely available resources to share with those around you.

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Please, please make sure you have the proper Epi-Pen with you at all times. It seems that the stories I have heard lately in regards to deaths relating to allergies, are teenage boys who did not have an Epi Pen.  This is when they are not with their parents or even with them.  As parents we have to stay vigilant with our minor as well as adult children.  I will be on Christian's case till the day I die about this.  Sending hugs to all.

Originally Posted by Alex Poon:

scary--he was given an epi pen but it did not help???  why not?

If he was 15 yrs old and was given an EpiPen Jr. my speculation would be that it probably was not enough epinephrine to reverse the reaction.  I would think that most 15 yr old boys, unless they were extremely abnormally tiny, would be prescribed the regular EpiPen, which contains twice as much medication as the Jr. version.  

 

Also, it is not uncommon for some reactions to require more than one dose of Epi, even when the initial dose is the correct one.  That is why it is recommended to always carry two EpiPens.  There is never a guarantee that just a single dose will be enough to reverse the reaction and a second Epi buys you time until emergency responders arrive.  I am not saying any of this to make you even more scared, but I think it is important info for people to know.  Until my son had a reaction that required more than one Epi, I often left the house with just a single Epi in my purse and even though I happened to have two with me on the day he had this particular reaction, it never occurred to me that it was ok to give more than one (I have since clarified with our allergist and guidelines about when to administer a second dose are part of his Allergy Action Plan).

Subsequent reports have indicated that Diallo had a peanut allergy and was eating out with soccer teammates. He thought the macadamia cookies were safe.   He did not have an EpiPen with him and immediately started reacting to the cookies.  A stranger offered an EpiPen Jr., but it wasn't enough to save his life.

 

Diallo is at least the third young person from Georgia to die from an allergic reaction since August, when a Gwinnett County high school student and a Kennesaw State University student died from reactions during the same week.

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