Bee sting Allergy and stinging insect therapy.
Many people, including physicians, do not realize that there is treatment for systemic allergic reactions to stinging insects (honey bee, yellow jacket, wasps, and hornets). This therapy is much like environmental allergy shot therapy where the patient is injected with the venom from the insect they are allergic to. This treatment is 97-99% effective when done correctly. So if treated and a bee allergic person is stung again their next sting reaction will not be as severe and there may be no reaction at all. This type of sting reactions can be life threatening and it is interesting that more people do not undergo this treatment. I find this especially interesting living in Southern California where our lifestyles lead us outdoors a majority of the time. I believe that this therapy is not well understood by ER doctors and Primary physician’s so the appropriate patients are not referred to allergists for evaluation and consideration for treatment. This treatment is safe when done in the proper setting but there are certain medical conditions where this therapy requires extreme caution.
Unfortunately, at the current time there is a shortage in the venom. Please click the Ventura County Star link where you can see a video and read an article featuring Dr. Porch about this shortage. http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2017/07/07/allergists-scramble-deal-venom-extract-shortage/440121001/ Dr. Porch explains how the therapy works and addresses the shortage. Coastal Allergy Care has ample supply as we have implemented the Task force recommendations from the AAAAI and the ACAAI to conserve the venom and use it in a manner to minimize waste. In addition, the current manufacturer feels the “worst is over.” Allergists have experienced “shortages” in extract in the past. Most recently there was a grass pollen shortage. In the end, the issue was resolved prior to interference in patient care. I fully believe the production issue with venom will be resolved and by following the task force recommendations patients will get their therapy. In my opinion, the silver lining in this shortage is that it brings awareness to this stinging insect immunotherapy so that others may receive life saving treatment.
Call us 805-482-8989 if you have questions or concerns about bee sting allergy.