Anaphylaxis in children is a potential acute life-threatening systemic hypersensitivity reaction. Anaphylaxis fatality rate is estimated to be 0.65% to 2%. Food is the main anaphylaxis trigger in children, notably cow’s milk, peanuts and tree nuts. Mucocutaneous manifestations are observed in more than 90% of cases, but it is not essential for diagnosis. Deaths are rather secondary to the laryngeal edema, observed in 40-50% of cases. Personal history of asthma, allergy to particular foods such as peanuts and tree nuts, and adolescence are known risk factors for anaphylaxis and more severe reactions. Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the medication of choice for the first-aid treatment of anaphylaxis. However, adrenaline auto-injectors (AAIs) are commercially available in only 32% of world countries. There are still considerable unmet needs in the field of anaphylaxis in children. Therefore, the Montpellier WHO Collaborating Centre aims to start the global actions plan applied to anaphylaxis.
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) provides a common language for use worldwide as a diagnostic and classification tool for epidemiology, clinical purposes and health management. Since its first edition, the ICD has maintained a framework distributing conditions according to topography, with the result that some complex conditions, such as allergies and hypersensitivity disorders (A/H) including anaphylaxis, have been poorly represented. The change in hierarchy in ICD-11 permitted the construction of the pioneer section addressed to A/H, which may result in more accurate mortality and morbidity statistics, including more accurate accounting for mortality due to anaphylaxis, strengthen classification, terminology and definitions. The ICD-11 was presented and adopted by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 and the implementation is ongoing worldwide. We here present the outcomes from an online survey undertaken to reach out the allergy community worldwide in order to peer review the terminology, classification and definitions of A/H introduced into ICD-11 and to support their global implementation. Data are presented here for 406 respondents from 74 countries. All of the sub-sections of the new A/H section of the ICD-11 had been considered with good accuracy by the majority of respondents. We believe that, in addition to help during the implementation phase, all the comments provided will help to improve the A/H classification and to increase awareness by different disciplines of what actions are needed to ensure more accurate epidemiological data and better clinical management of A/H patients.
Since the first description of anaphylaxis in 1902, its clinical importance as an emergency condition has been recognized worldwide. Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening systemic hypersensitivity reaction characterized by rapid onset and the potential to endanger life through respiratory or circulatory compromise. It is usually, although not always, associated with skin and mucosal changes. Although the academic/scientific communities have advocated to promote greater awareness and protocols for management of anaphylaxis based on best evidence, there are few efforts documenting feedback as to the success of these efforts. In this document, we review the key unmet needs related to the diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis, propose a public health initiative for prevention measures and a timetable action plan which intends to strengthen the collaboration among health professionals and especially primary care physicians dealing with anaphylaxis that can encourage enhanced quality of care of patients with anaphylaxis. More than calling for harmonized action for best management of anaphylaxis to prevent undue morbidity and mortality, the Montpellier World Health Organization Collaborating Centre here proposes an action plan as a baseline for a global initiative against anaphylaxis. We strongly believe these collaborative efforts are a strong public health and societal priority that is consistent with the overarching goals of providing optimal care of allergic patients and best practices of allergology.