Accredited first aid instructor Heidi Robertson displays the training EpiPen with Barry Wort and Denyse Hodgson, both of Jiggi, who needed an EpiPen when they went into anaphylactic shock.
Accredited first aid instructor Heidi Robertson displays the training EpiPen with Barry Wort and Denyse Hodgson, both of Jiggi, who needed an EpiPen when they went into anaphylactic shock. Marc Stapelberg

Tick bite causes allergic reaction

ANAPHYLAXIS is an acute allergic reaction. It is life threatening and the number of people suffering from the condition is rising.

When Barry Wort, of Jiggi, suffered a severe reaction to a tick bite in July last year, doctors told him to sell his farm and move closer to Lismore Base Hospital.

"They said my case was so severe I needed to be within 10 minutes of the hospital," Mr Wort said.

Mr Wort was celebrating his mother's birthday when he was bitten by the tick.

Within 90 seconds his lips began to swell and his eyes were watering.

Despite quickly injecting himself with a dose of adrenalin, delivered through an EpiPen, his symptoms continued to deteriorate.

Within four minutes his speech was slurring and his tongue and throat had begun to swell.

By the time he got from his home to Blakebrook where he met an ambulance he was just moments away from suffocating.

Paramedics delivered a large dose of adrenalin and got him to hospital.

His neighbour Denyse Hodgson also has anaphylaxis, but she counts herself lucky that her reactions are not as severe as Mr Wort's.

Ms Hodgson said she was worried too few people knew about the condition or what to do if they came across someone having a severe reaction.

Former intensive care ambulance paramedic Heidi Robertson, who now runs courses to train people in first aid for anaphylaxis, said the number of Australians and New Zealanders suffering allergic reactions had doubled over the past 25 years.

"Nobody knows why," Ms Robertson said.

She said that from January 2013 all early childhood educators will have to be trained in emergency asthma and anaphylaxis management.

Ms Robertson will be running accredited training courses in the Zest Room at Southern Cross University on May 10, between 9.30am and 1.30am and May 19, between 9.30am and 1.30am.

The cost of the training is $50. To book, phone 0404 047 313 or email info@ accreditedfirstaid.com.au



He works 18 hours a day, but earned only $700 last month

premium_icon He works 18 hours a day, but earned only $700 last month

He works a crazy 14 to 18 hours a day

Tragic death sparks political debate

premium_icon Tragic death sparks political debate

No links to mental health, but opposition wants better resources

Priest accused of sex abuse was a 'role model', court told

premium_icon Priest accused of sex abuse was a 'role model', court told

Catholic priest is on trial charged with past sex offences

Local Partners