BRIDGEWATER, N.J., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- If you or your loved one is at risk for anaphylaxis – a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction – you probably know the feeling of gratitude you have when someone goes the extra mile to help with allergen avoidance. Now, there is a new way to say "Thank You" to someone who has made a difference in the life of an individual at risk for anaphylaxis. Sanofi US has launched a Severe Allergy Awareness Facebook page where individuals have a unique opportunity to create online awards via the "Celebrate Someone" app for those who have helped them or a loved one manage their severe allergies. For example, an award can celebrate a co-worker who provided an allergy-friendly food option during a meeting, or a mom who substituted mylar balloons for latex balloons at a birthday party.
Awards can recognize individuals, groups, companies or organizations, and for the first award someone makes, Sanofi US will donate $5 to a patient advocacy group focused on severe allergies – up to $100,000 in total. The donations will benefit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Kids with Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
"This initiative not only raises understanding of severe allergies and the risk for anaphylaxis, but it's also a way for us to help several of the advocacy groups continue the work that they do to provide allergy education and awareness," said Bryan Downey, Vice President, Anaphylaxis Solutions, Sanofi US. "We encourage everyone who appreciates the support they've received for themselves or a family member to show their appreciation and nominate someone for the Severe Allergy Awareness Hall of Fame."
Up to six million Americans may be at risk for anaphylaxis, although the precise incidence is unknown and likely underreported. Numerous studies indicate that the rate of anaphylaxis has increased in recent years, pointing to the need for greater awareness.
It is critical that not only the individuals at risk for anaphylaxis and their immediate family members are aware of their allergens and how to help prevent severe allergic reactions, but that others in their community are as well, including teachers, friends, coaches and co-workers.
"As a physician and someone at risk for anaphylaxis myself, I can tell you first-hand how reassuring others' awareness about my severe allergies can be," said Dr. Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, a pediatric allergist, national expert in anaphylaxis and consultant to Sanofi US. "There are a number of people in my life who work to help ensure that I'm safe from my allergens and I look forward to recognizing them."
"Like" us today at www.facebook.com/severeallergyawareness and visit the "Celebrate Someone" app to create an award.
Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fuh-lax-is) is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that happens quickly and may cause death. Life-threatening allergic reactions may occur as a result of exposure to allergens including foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, soy and wheat; insect stings; latex and medication, among other allergens and causes. Food is the most commonly identified anaphylaxis trigger and accounts for 30 percent of all anaphylaxis fatalities.
The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can vary from person to person and from one episode to the next. Some people may have hives/itching, facial or tongue swelling, which makes it difficult to breath or swallow, while others may experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may begin within seconds, minutes or hours after exposure to the allergen. The best prevention method of anaphylaxis is avoidance of the specific allergen(s). If anaphylaxis does occur and if treatment is not administered, the reaction can result in death within a matter of minutes.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (SAN) and in New York (SNY).
Sanofi is the holding company of a consolidated group of subsidiaries and operates in the United States as Sanofi US, also referred to as sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. For more information on Sanofi US, please visit http://www.sanofi.us or call 1-800-981-2491.