Probe after girl dies due to nut allergy

Emma Sloan: Mother was refused adrenaline pen.

The pharmacy regulator has started an inquiry into a Dublin chemist that refused to give an emergency adrenaline pen to a mother whose 14-year-old daughter died minutes later on the street because of a nut allergy.

The Pharmacy Society of Ireland’s inspection and enforcement unit visited the Hamilton Long chemist on O’Connell Street yesterday.

Under 2003 Medicinal Products ‘emergency supply’ regulations, pharmacists are allowed in emergency circumstances “to supply certain prescription-only medicines without a prescription”.

Last night, the PSI said “it would not be appropriate at this time to comment further”.

Emma Sloan mistakenly ate a nut-containing sauce at a Chinese restaurant in Dublin earlier on Thursday night and quickly began to have problems breathing.

Her mother rushed to the nearest chemist but the pharmacist refused to give the adrenaline injection without a prescription.

Instead, the mother was told to bring the girl to the nearest A&E but there wasn’t enough time and she stopped breathing.

The family had been having a Christmas dinner at Jimmy Chung’s restaurant on Eden Quay, but never saw a notice at the buffet which specified the satay sauce contained peanuts.

Emma did not have her ‘epipen’ device with her.

Consultant paediatrician allergist, Jonathan Hourihane, said Emma’s death was the “first death of a child from a severe allergy [anaphylaxis] in years”.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that despite being aware since November of defects in another pen used to administer adrenaline to those in anaphylactic shock, the Irish Medicines Board didn’t issue a recall of the pen.

A recall of the product was issued in the UK nearly two weeks ago as their manufacturers had revealed the injectors’ needles may have become bent during production meaning they can’t deliver the required adrenaline dose.

The issue affected less than 1% of pens in the affected batches.

Last night, An IMB spokeswoman said: “Given the low incidence of the defect as well as the importance of ensuring the continued availability of this medicine, it was considered that a recall should not be initiated until replacement stock becomes available.”


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