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Inquest: Man with Tree Nut Allergy Died After a Single Chunk of a Dish He Knew Contained Almonds

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An inquest was convened immediately to analyze the loss of life of Joseph Higginson, 27, a mechanic from Larger Manchester, UK, who died in 2022 after consuming a mouthful of a dish he ordered for a household dinner. He had eaten the dish, which contained almonds, earlier than.

The coroner indicated the restaurant ‘clearly indicated’ the dish was made with almonds and had supplied all the right allergy data they had been required to.

Higginson was conscious of his allergy symptoms, having examined optimistic by way of pores and skin prick take a look at for allergy symptoms to peanuts, tree nuts together with almonds, and coconut just some months earlier. Upon his analysis, he was given an epinephrine auto-injector and steerage on anaphylaxis.

His sister, Emily Higginson, testified that he had been hospitalized in April of 2022 however didn’t all the time take his allergy symptoms critically.

On December 28, 2022, Higginson ordered Butter Rooster takeout from the restaurant for a household meal. After taking a chew, he stood up abruptly, ran to the kitchen sink, then rushed upstairs.

His sister administered his auto-injector, however the dose was inadequate to halt the development of signs. He subsequently collapsed, struggling cardiac arrest.

A member of the family known as emergency companies who additionally gave him epinephrine and administered CPR earlier than he was transported to Royal Bolton Hospital. He died there just a few days later, on January 4.

Dr Philip Lumb, a pathologist, said that Higginson suffered an ‘fast allergic response’ as quickly as he put the hen in his mouth.

Police, who had initiated a procedural investigation, discovered no adulterants within the meals and decided the restaurant was not at fault.

Higginson is because of posthumously obtain The Order of St John Award for his organ donation.

Stated his sister, Emily:

Folks with allergy symptoms ought to all the time take the scenario critically. It’s not one thing that may be taken with no consideration – the severity can change all through an individual’s lifetime.

He has donated his coronary heart as per his needs and a kidney. We all know they’re alive and nicely and that the transplants had been profitable.

Coroner Julie Mitchell recorded a verdict of misadventure.

She said the restaurant clearly indicated the dish contained almonds and mentioned Higginson was ‘nicely conscious’ it was a ‘dangerous meals for him to devour’ however he selected the meal as a result of he had ‘tolerated’ it earlier than – in addition to almonds.

She mentioned:

He was conscious that the meal he consumed contained almonds. Provided that Joe intentionally ate the dish understanding that it contained almonds and understanding that it was a dangerous meals for him to devour, I’m happy that it is a misadventure loss of life.


We ship Emily and the Higginson household our sincerest condolences for his or her loss and hope the shut of the inquest brings them some measure of closure.

That is yet one more loss of life from anaphylaxis that would have been prevented. As we all the time do, we have a look at methods the allergic neighborhood can shield itself from comparable tragedies.

Perceive {that a} meals allergy analysis is to not be taken calmly. Though you might need tolerated your allergen or had a minor response prior to now, the following response might be much more extreme, even life-threatening. YOU MUST ALWAYS AVOID YOUR ALLERGENS until you cross an oral meals problem administered by a skilled medical skilled, interval, full-stop.

We urge you to keep away from ordering from institutions the place your allergen is used until you may have mentioned your allergy symptoms with administration and are comfy your allergy symptoms could be safely accommodated. in case you are not satisfied, don’t order.

Final however not least, we don’t know the way lengthy it took from the time Joseph realized he was struggling a response till his sister administered his auto-injector. We do know that epinephrine is the one drug that may halt and reverse the development of anaphylaxis, but it surely have to be administered quickly after onset to work finest.

We urge all readers who’ve been prescribed epinephrine to all the time take two auto-injectors alongside all over the place, each time, and to manage one when anaphylaxis is first suspected. If signs don’t subside after a couple of minutes, administer the second whereas ready for emergency companies to reach.

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