One Bite of a Cookie Claims a Teen's Life

March 19, 2013 by John Oliver

Do you have any allergies? Do you take all the necessary precautions? Are you prepared to respond if you do suffer an allergic reaction? One 19-year-old college freshman, unfortunately, was not and he suffered a fatal allergic reaction after eating a cookie with trace amounts of peanut oil.

Cameron Groezinger-Fitzpatrick, aged 19, was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy when he was only eight years old. He took all of the common peanut allergy precautions and had carefully avoided nuts, checked labels, questioned restaurant staff, and carried all necessary medications his whole life. A brief lapse in the careful monitoring of his allergy, however, led to a series of events that ultimately claimed his life.

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Cameron, while out with his college-aged friends, picked up some cookies. After a friend ate one and told him, he did not taste any peanuts Cameron decided to try one. Within minutes, he was home and began experiencing severe breathing problems. She immediately called 911 and requested help. His mother was unable to find his Epi-Pen and the one she kept was expired. Luckily, their neighbor had an Epi-Pen and they administered it as soon as possible. After arriving at the hospital, CPR was performed, but it was too late and Cameron’s young life was cut tragically short.

No matter what kind of allergy you have, it is critical to do everything you can to avoid exposure to potential triggers. Had Cameron read the label on the cookie package, he most likely would have seen that it was produced with peanut oil and could have avoided it. Always have access to treatment for your allergy. If you're responsible for administering medication to children always make sure it hasn't expired and ensure that there hasn't been a recall by the medicine manufacturers. These few seemingly simple lapses in the management of his allergy could have prevented this terrible tragedy from ever happening.

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