Information updates

New ASCIA penicillin allergy e-training course

3 December 2018

Penicillin allergy is the most common drug allergy and is self-reported in up to 18 percent of hospitalised patients.

However, most (up to 90%) of patients with a penicillin allergy label are found not to be allergic on further assessment.

Importantly, in the true allergic patients, penicillin allergy can be life-threatening.

This course covers the following key questions about patients who have a history of penicillin allergy:

  • Is it ever appropriate to prescribe a penicillin?
  • Can a cephalosporin be prescribed?
  • What further information is required?
  • What are the danger signs of severe allergy?
  • Is it possible the patient might not be penicillin allergic?
  • How can we find out if they are still allergic?

ASCIA penicillin e-training for health professionals is the latest addition to the range of 20 free of charge ASCIA e-training courses. To register for this course go to https://etraininghp.ascia.org.au

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ASCIA appoints new Project Officer to focus on ASCIA Education Project

30 November 2018

It is a pleasure to announce that Nadene Dorling has been appointed as a new ASCIA Project Officer. Nadene has extensive experience in health education communications and organising conferences, medical education and patient education programs. Her skills and energy will assist ASCIA to progress implementing the ASCIA Education Project 2018-2020. 

Implementation of the ASCIA Education Project has commenced in 2018 with a significant redesign of the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au to improve access and promote increased use of ASCIA resources. These resources include world leading ASCIA Action Plans and ASCIA e-training courses as well as new quicklink webpages and ASCIA Fast Facts:

The ASCIA Education Project requires sponsorship via educational grants, to enable ASCIA to:

  • Promote new ASCIA Fast Facts and new quick-link ASCIA webpages
  • Improve access to more than 20 ASCIA plans and checklists
  • Retain free access to more than 20 ASCIA e-training courses
  • Monitor feedback and use of all ASCIA resources
  • Review and update existing ASCIA resources and develop new resources as required   

Updated ASCIA cow’s milk (dairy) allergy patient information

19 November 2018

Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy affects around 2% (1 in 50) babies In Australia and New Zealand. In recent years deaths from severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to cow’s milk have occurred in allergic babies and children. ASCIA patient information has therefore been updated to include more information about anaphylaxis to cow’s milk.  

Rapid onset allergic reactions usually occur within 15 minutes, and sometimes up to 2 hours after consuming cow's milk or other dairy foods. Symptoms include one of more of the following:

  • Mild or moderate allergic reactions - hives (urticaria), swelling of the lips, face or eyes, stomach (abdominal) pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. 
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) - noisy breathing or wheeze, tongue swelling, throat swelling or tightness, hoarse voice, loss of consciousness and floppiness in babies or young children.

Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment with adrenaline (epinephrine) and calling for an ambulance. 

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New ASCIA Fast Facts on asthma, autoimmunity and eczema

9 November 2018

Fast Facts areaAsthma and allergy, autoimmune diseases and eczema (atopic dermatitis) are the latest topics to be added to ASCIA Fast Facts. A total of 12 ASCIA Fast Facts topics are now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts   

ASCIA Fast Facts provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community.

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New translations of ASCIA anaphylaxis information

5 November 2018

Translations of ASCIA anaphylaxis information into 21 languages have been funded by an educational grant from the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN).  They are available open access on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis#ta5

The following ASCIA anaphylaxis resources have recently been translated into Karen (Myanmar), Khmer (Cambodia), Lao (Laos and Thailand) and Thai languages:

New ASCIA Fast Facts information

2 November 2018

Fast Facts areaASCIA Fast Facts have been developed to provide concise, easy to understand and reliable information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community.  The first 12 topics are available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts

ASCIA Fast Facts:

  • have been developed from ASCIA information, based on published literature and expert review; 
  • include weblinks to further information and relevant patient support organisations.

ASCIA Fast Facts have been developed as part of the ASCIA Education Project 2018-2020.  

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New MBS item numbers for allergy testing – effective 1 November 2018

31 October 2018

New Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers for allergy testing are effective as of 1 November 2018. The following are responses to questions that ASCIA has recently received about the new MBS item numbers:

  • MBS item numbers 12000 and 12003 can be co-claimed on the same day, but MBS item number 12000 is restricted to specialists or consultant physicians, which includes paediatricians. 
  • MBS item numbers 12001 and 12002 are each limited to one claim per 12 month period, but they are not restricted to specialists or consultant physicians. 
  • These MBS item number changes for allergy testing were not initiated by ASCIA. However, in response to a 2017 submission by ASCIA, the item numbers were significantly modified, to ensure patients with complex allergies are not disadvantaged. 
  • The changes were made as part of the MBS review into allergy skin testing item numbers and are explained on the MBS website: www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-DermatologyAllergy

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AusPollen PreSeason Questionnaire

2 October 2018

Local AusPollen Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air, which can help if you have hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or if your asthma is made worse by allergens in the air.

To help the AusPollen team evaluate usefulness of the Apps and how they can improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire before and after the pollen season. https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/192287/435d/

You can access the service on the website www.pollenforecast.com.au or via itunes or Google Play Apps, Twitter or Facebook. 

This research will help the AusPollen Team to know where to site future pollen count stations and also determine if there are local triggers that make hay fever and asthma worse.

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