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food allergies and surgery

Posted Jul 11 2008 2:03pm 1 Comment

Got this note via a friend on facebook. Remember to talk to your doctors about any drugs that will be used in surgery! They may not be thinking “food allergies” when they’re thinking of putting you or your littles under.

Hey Leslea,

I hope that all is well with you. I subscribe to many food allergy newsletters. One that I was reading today mentioned that Propofol, used for anesthesia, contains 10% soybean oil, and 1.2% purified egg phospholipid (emulsifier). I have experienced anaphylaxis when exposed to soy and will be having surgery in August.

Fortunately, I can share this information with my surgeon. In addition, I will also be consulting with my allergist in July. One can never take for granted how vigilant one must be about verifying the ingredients in everything! Another lesson learned is a tragedy averted. Take care.

Joy

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You may wish to share this information with your anesthesiologist.   Your anesthesiologist is the doctor prescribing the anesthesia as well as the doctor who will be called upon to recognize that an unanticipated event such as an allergic reaction develops during your surgery and to intervene to keep you safe.  Since medications such as propofol are sometimes administered to critically ill patients in emergency situations, you may also wish to wear a medical alert bracelet to alert physicians to this condition if you are unable to speak for yourself.
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