Anaphylaxis in Latin American children and adolescents: the Online Latin American Survey on Anaphylaxis (OLASA)

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2012 Nov-Dec;40(6):331-5. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2011.09.008. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Objectives: To identify the main clinical manifestations, triggers, and treatment of severe allergic reactions (SAR) in children and adolescents (n=191, up to 18 years of age) seen by allergologists and registered in the Online Latin American Survey of Anaphylaxis (OLASA).

Results: 53.0% of the patients were males and the aetiological agent was identified in 85.5% of them as follows: foods (36.1%), drugs (27.7%), and insect stings (26.2%). The most common symptoms during an acute episode were cutaneous (94.2%), and respiratory (78.5%). Most patients were treated in emergency setting, yet only 34.6% received parenteral epinephrine and 14.3% had to be hospitalised.

Conclusion: Cutaneous symptoms ranked the order of clinical presentation of SAR. Food was the main triggering agent in the younger cases and insect sting and drugs in the adolescents. Treatment provided for SAR was not appropriate. It is necessary to improve educational programmes in order to enhance the knowledge on this potentially fatal emergency.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Collection
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insect Bites and Stings / complications
  • Insect Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Male