The Victorian state’s Health Department has for the first time released data that reveals over 1,000 Victorians have presented at hospital emergency rooms with anaphylaxis since the beginning of November last year. More than 60 per cent of the 1,028 cases were food related.
A state wide hospital notifications system for anaphylaxis was rolled out in Victoria on 1 November 2018 following the coronial enquiries into anaphylactic deaths in the state. The legislated system requires hospitals to notify the Health Department (via an online form) of anaphylaxis presentations within five days of initial diagnosis. However, if the suspected cause of anaphylaxis is the consumption of a packaged food, notification is required by telephone within 24 hours.
The data shows a high number of residents in Wyndham and Kingston council areas, and on the Mornington Peninsula, suffered anaphylactic reactions. While there is not necessarily a link between an anaphylactic reaction and where a person lives, the new notification system has triggered one food recall and 33 notifications sent to local councils to check allergen management practices at food premises including restaurants and cafes.