Wigan hospitals see fall in allergy admissions
Admissions to Wigan hospitals linked to allergies have dropped in recent years, despite rising numbers elsewhere in England.
Charity Allergy UK says increasing hospital visits linked to allergies across the country as a whole are worrying, and wants to see more education about the risks of severe allergic reactions.
But NHS Digital data shows there were around 90 admissions with a primary diagnosis of allergies at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) centres in 2019-20 – the latest full year’s worth of figures.
That was down from around 125 in 2015-16 – the earliest year for which data was available – although it was broadly in line with 2018-19.
The figures count a patient’s first period of care under a consultant, and include admissions for allergies related to food, pollen and cosmetics, among other things.
Nationally, around 30,400 admission episodes were recorded – a big increase from 20,700 in 2015-16.
“As lockdown restrictions ease, if you or your friends or family have a food allergy, it’s important to never be complacent,” said a spokeswoman for the Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for food safety.
“Speak to restaurants about food allergies every time you order, because ingredients, recipes and staff can change.”
The figures also show there were at least 11 admission episodes with a primary diagnosis of anaphylactic shock at WWL in 2019-20 – compared to at least 16 in 2015-16. Exact numbers are not known because totals for certain patient groups were suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
Anaphylactic shock happens when someone has a potentially life-threatening immune reaction to a trigger, which is often an allergy. There were around 5,500 admission episodes linked to this shock in England in 2019-20: slightly down from the previous year but up from 4,500 in 2015-16.
Amena Warner, of Allergy UK, said: “If this isn’t brought under control we’re going to have a huge problem, because in some cases allergic reactions can be fatal.”
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