Ractions to hymenoptera venom in children:
to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
Key words: Specific immunotherapy, Allergy, Hymenoptera venom
Hymenoptera venom allergy is a rare occurrence in children, so paediatricians are frequently
unprepared and thus incapable of giving adequate answers. The allergy has
usually a benign natural history: systemic reactions characterized only by cutaneous manifestation
can either disappear completely, or maintain the same, low severity in case of
following punctures. Severe systemic reactions presenting with respiratory and/or cardiocirculatory
symptoms and/or laryngeal oedema, exceptionally fatal in paediatric age,
are a strong indication for specific immunotherapy (SIT). There are three important reasons
for this statement: contrary to common past belief, severe systemic reactions do not disappear
rapidly after the paediatric age; SIT for hymenoptera venom is very effective and
its effectiveness persists for years after suspension; affected patients' and families' quality
of life is frequently lowered by the fear of new punctures and the prescription of adrenaline
for auto-injection often worsens the fear instead of helping.
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