Information updates

QR codes in ASCIA Generic Plans

With the widespread use of QR codes, and two brands of adrenaline (epinephrine) injector devices now available, a QR code has been added to the generic version of the red ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and the generic version of the orange ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis. 

The QR code links to a new ASCIA webpage www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/how-to-give-injector which includes instructions for both EpiPen® and Anapen® . Please note that the generic versions with QR codes are not intended to replace the device specific plans for EpiPen® and Anapen®

The generic ASCIA plans with QR codes are now available on the ASCIA website in several locations and have been updated in ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses:

www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/ascia-action-plan-for-anaphylaxis

www.allergy.org.au/hp/ascia-plans-action-and-treatment

www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis/first-aid-for-anaphylaxis

The generic versions of ASCIA plans have been available for several years, for the following reasons:

  • To enable translations, generic orange ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis were introduced in 2012.
  • To prepare for the situation where other brands of adrenaline injector devices may have been introduced at short notice, due to supply issues, generic red ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis were introduced in 2018.
  • To provide a illustrative training tool, without being brand specific, generic red ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and orange ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis have been used in ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses since 2018.

Adding the QR code to the generic ASCIA plans provides additional information to ‘refer to device label’ for instructions. Even if people don’t use the QR code, having the code in a prominent location may highlight the fact that people can ‘refer to device label’ for instructions.

ASCIA Food Allergy e-training

ASCIA Food Allergy e-training for Health Professionals has been substantially updated and the new course is available from 30 November 2021.

First developed in 2011, the latest version is for suitable for medical practitioners, nurses and dietitians.

The following six modules are included:

Module 1: Food Allergy Overview

Module 2: Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of Food Allergy

Module 3: Cow’s Milk (Dairy) Allergy

Module 4: Other Conditions Related to Food Allergy

Module 5: The Role of Dietitians in Managing Food Allergy

Module 6: Final Assessment

Thank you to ASCIA members and the ASCIA team who undertook the extensive review and editing of the course over the past few years. 

Register or go to the course here

The learning outcomes for this course are:

  • Differentiate between food allergy and other adverse reactions to foods, including food intolerances.
  • Understand the role of medical practitioners and dietitians in the diagnosis and management of food allergy.
  • Identify appropriate specialised formula choices for infants with food allergy.

This course has received support from the National Allergy Strategy and ASCIA gratefully acknowledges all of the generous supporters of ASCIA education resources, as listed on the ASCIA website https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/sponsors 

New ASCIA Chronic Rhinosinusitis Position Paper

Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS) is one of the most common chronic conditions worldwide, with a significant health-economic impact.  CRS is generally subclassified into two dominant subgroups:

  • CRS with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP), and
  • RS sine (without) NP (CRSsNP).

CRS with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP) is a Type 2 (T2) inflammatory disorder and has a significant impact on quality of life which is further reduced if other atopic diseases and asthma are also present. Whilst intranasal corticosteroids (INCS) and saline irrigation are safe and effective for long term use in patients, many patients with CRSwNP remain suboptimally controlled and require surgical management.  As new medical therapies are becoming available, a rational approach to appropriate, equitable, and cost-effective treatment is required.

A Position Paper has been developed to provide an overview of CRSwNP and provide a framework for management that includes newer biological therapies. It is available at www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/crswnp 

This Position Paper was developed by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunolgy and Allergy (ASCIA) and the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (ASOHNS) Working Party, comprising: A/Prof Raewyn Campbell, Prof Richard Harvey, Prof Connie Katelaris AM (Chair), Prof Michaela Lucas, Dr Kathryn Patchett, A/Prof Janet Rimmer and Prof Ray Sacks.

 

 

Parliamentary Inquiry Report

The Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport has tabled its report ‘The New Frontier: Delivering better health to all Australians’, following the Parliamentary Inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia. 

The three main issues raised in the ASCIA submission to this Parliamentary Inquiry (access to treatments, genomic testing and newborn screening for SCID) that were presented on behalf of ASCIA by Prof Connie Katelaris AM, Prof Jo Douglass and Dr Melanie Wong have been included in the report.

Access to treatments was included in several recommendations and the other issues are specifically mentioned in recommendations 2 (genomic testing) and 21 (newborn screening).  

A link to this report can be found at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Health_Aged_Care_and_Sport/Newdrugs/Report

The ASCIA submission to this Parliamentary Inquiry was lodged in November 2020 and can be found at https://www.allergy.org.au/ascia-reports#s1

New Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard

New standard of care to manage anaphylaxis will save lives

A new Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard has been developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in consultation with consumers and healthcare professionals, and is now available online at https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/standards/clinical-care-standards/acute-anaphylaxis-clinical-care-standard.

The Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard was launched today, 24th November, via a live one-hour webcast event. Medical experts, including Dr Preeti Joshi, discussed barriers to prompt recognition of anaphylaxis, appropriate treatment, safe discharge and best practice care after anaphylaxis.  

The National Allergy Strategy, ASCIA and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) have been represented on the expert working group run by the Commission, to support the evidence review, development and launch of the Clinical Care Standard, which is consistent with ASCIA Guidelines for Acute Management of Anaphylaxis. To access the ASCIA Guidelines go to www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/acute-management-of-anaphylaxis-guidelines

Download a copy: Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard

Media releaseNational standard of care for anaphylaxis will save lives

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

COVID-19 vaccination is an important way to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, which is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Even if a person does get infected, it is likely to be a milder illness if they have been vaccinated.

Once there is a very high level of COVID-19 vaccination in the population, this can allow travel, work, schools, social activities and in person retail shopping to resume.

From an allergy perspective the only contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination is documented anaphylaxis to a previous COVID-19 vaccine or documented anaphylaxis to one of the components (excipients) contained in COVID-19 vaccines. There is limited use for skin testing to COVID vaccines and their excipients.

Anaphylaxis to vaccines is rare, and almost always occurs within 30 minutes of vaccination. Most people who have anaphylaxis to one type of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to have one of the other types of COVID-19 vaccines.

The seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and health consequences mean that medical exemptions under the 'other specified medical condition' category are generally not issued. 

Clinical immunology/allergy specialists are strong advocates for vaccination.  Due to current waiting times of at least six months for appointments to see clinical immunology/allergy specialists, discussions about the numerous benefits and rare risks of COVID-19 vaccination may delay timely vaccination, and people seeking medical exemptions should be aware of the health consequences.

Further information is available from the ASCIA website

https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/covid-19

 

 

TGA approval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster dose in Australia

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years and older in Australia.

The TGA approval means that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been found safe and effective to boost protection for individuals aged 18 years and older through a third booster dose provided at least six months after the completion of a COVID-19 vaccine primary course of two doses. The primary course can be of any of the COVID-19 vaccine registered for use in Australia.

People remain fully vaccinated with two doses of TGA approved COVID-19 vaccines and the commencement of booster doses will provide additional protection and peace of mind for Australians.

Subject to final advice provided to the Government by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), it is expected that a general population booster program will commence no later than 8 November with original priority groups, including people in aged care and disability care settings, to be offered the option to receive a booster as a priority.

The Government also expects that Moderna will shortly apply to the TGA for registration of booster doses for their vaccine.

Since 11 October, Australians who are severely immunocompromised have been able to receive a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to boost their protection against COVID-19 to the highest level.

Further information: 

https://www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/info-updates/third-covid-19-vaccine-shot-recommended-for-people-who-are-severely-immunocompromised

https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/tga-approval-for-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-booster-dose-0

 

National Allergy Strategy Updates

The National Allergy Strategy is a partnership between ASCIA and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. Several new and updated National Allergy Strategy resources have recently been launched, which are listed below. 

  • NEW Allergy Aware Resource hub
    • This resource hub contains the new National Allergy Strategy Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in schools and children’s education and care (CEC) services and supporting resources, along with links to A&AA and ASCIA resources for the school and CEC settings.
    • This resource hub is for staff working in schools and children’s education and care services as well as for parents/guardians and students.
  • UPDATED All about Allergens course – food allergen management training for all staff working in food service. This course has been revised to suit staff that work in both front of house and back of house. It is an interactive course that takes about 45 minutes to complete.
  • UPDATED All about Allergens for Cooks and Chefs – this course has been revised to be a single stand-alone course for cooks and chefs. It is an interactive course that takes about 1 hour to complete.
  • NEW All about Allergens Resource hub – This new resource hub provides resources to help those working in food service to provide appropriate food to customers with food allergies. Freely downloadable resources and templates are available for general food service, hospital food service and food service in schools, CEC services and camps.
  • NEW My Health Record and allergy podcasts for health professionals and consumers. The National Allergy Strategy has worked with the Australian Digital Health Agency to develop podcasts for health professionals and consumers about My Health Record and allergy information. The podcasts feature Maria Said, CEO of A&AA along with Dr Dean Tey (paediatric clinical immunology and allergy specialist), Dr Aaron Chambers (GP) and Dr Charlotte Hespe (RACGP) and facilitated by Dr Andrew Rochford.

Stay up to date with NAS projects via their website

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