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Our Mission, west Coast Allergy and Asthma Network (Westcaan) is dedicated to "Creating a safer richmond environment in California Schools for those affected by severe allergies and asthma through awareness, education, training, and advocacy." Westcaan was organized to work with asthma schools to better enable them. About West Coast Allergy and Asthma Network.
Westcaan was founded in February 2006. Larry Posner and Jamie Hintzke.
Posner is a Pediatric Allergist and a principle of North Bay Allergy and Asthma Associates, Past President of Northern California Allergy Pediatric Allergists, and the Board President of Westcaan. Jamie Hintzke is the mother of a food allergic and asthmatic child. She has a long history of advocating for quality health care in schools and currently serves as the Executive Director of Westcaan.
Posner, Jamie, and the Westcaan Board of Directors share a growing concern for the well being of allergic and asthmatic children at school. California Asthma and Allergy Situation, one in five children with food allergy will experience a reaction in school. Severe food allergies currently affect three to eight percent of children (representing an estimated 203,000 to 541,000 children in California and the prevalence of food allergies among children in the.S.
Has increased substantially with the incidence of peanut allergies doubling in the last five years. In two different studies, at least 25 of students who were treated with epinephrine were not known previously to have an allergic condition. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network published study, "The US Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy Registry; Characteristics of Reactions in Schools and Day Care cites that the school reaction represented the first reaction for 25 of the children treated with epinephrine.
Of people who have asthma during their lifetime, 80 have the onset by 5 years of age. In California, 784,000 children under age 17 have had asthma symptoms in the past year, an increase of 2According to the California Health Kids Survey (2001-2003 California's lifetime prevalence for asthma in 7th, 9th and 11th graders.4. African Americans,.8, had the highest lifetime asthma prevalence rates, followed by Whites.2.
In California, there were 19 deaths in 2002 due to asthma in children 0-14. Nationally, 123 deaths occurred among children 5-14 years of age in 2002 as the result of asthma.
Current Legislation, currently, California has in place AB 559 (Wiggins which allows schools to voluntarily have emergency epinephrine on site for anaphylaxis only. Across the State, it appears that few schools have implemented an emergency epinephrine program on a voluntary basis. One of the barriers is the lack of standardized training materials; school board adopted policies and updated information.
State guidelines should include other epinephrine auto-injectors now on the market and be consistent with new national guidelines for anaphylaxis management. For example, second doses can be repeated in 5-10 minutes rather than 15-20 minutes. This information could be the difference between life and death of a student.