Ahead of the first term back for university undergraduates this month, the Anaphylaxis Campaign has released a short film on their YouTube channel.
The five minute film features Helen, a student in her final year talking about her experiences of attending university while managing her severe nut allergy and aims to prove that while scary, it can be done.
“Going to uni is one of those things that you look forward to with nervous anticipation for so long”, Helen said. “Living away from home, going to lectures, being truly independent for the first time – these are all things that worry you and make you feel quite anxious at first. Managing severe allergy on your own for the first time, too, just adds an extra layer of complication to things.”
And it’s arguable that she was right to be worried.
“Statistically, teenagers and young adults are the most at risk of all the groups affected by anaphylaxis,” says Anaphylaxis Campaign Helpline Manager, Moira Austin. “It’s a time when risk taking behaviours like drinking, newly found independence, first time and unfamiliar experiences and rebellious behaviours like not carrying medication all come together creating a perfect storm in terms of anaphylaxis risk.”
Last year in 2012, the Anaphylaxis Campaign commissioned a survey of over 500 young people aged 15 - 25. It found that over one third of those asked didn’t always carry their life saving adrenaline – the only effective emergency treatment for anaphylaxis. 72% - an overwhelming majority – were also not currently receiving any kind of expert medical care or advice.
This year already there have been several high profile global cases of deaths from anaphylaxis in this crucial demographic.
“We want to bridge gaps in knowledge and remove unnecessary risk factors through our information and advice for young people, the latest of which is this short film. We really would urge people to check it out to prepare themselves before starting a new college or university.” said Lynne Regent, CEO, Anaphylaxis Campaign.
The film is available on the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s YouTube Channel and also on their website.