January 08, 2012

Food Allergy Reaction Video

So the other day, I was watching the movie Hitch starring Will Smith and Eva Mendes during which there is this one scene where Hitch suffers an allergic reaction from a food he ate during a dinner date. Watch video.

It's actually a pretty good depiction of a reaction due to a food allergy.

However, given the throat-clearing suggesting airway swelling which extends to his face, he really should have called 911 as this not uncommonly leads to death if the airway swelling is severe enough to obstruct his breathing. Along with facial and airway swelling, his blood pressure probably dropped and his heart rate increased to point he could have passed out due to insufficient blood flow to the brain. Of course, it was a movie and none of that happened, but don't think for a second that benadryl alone is adequate.

It is a little unusual for an adult to have a previously unknown food allergy with this severe a reaction in someone as old as Hitch, but not impossible.

Treatment was appropriately given with benadrylin the movie, but in reality Hitch additionally should have gone to the ER where epinephrine and steroids also would have been administered followed by several hours of observation.

After recovery, he should ALWAYS carry an epipen with him. He should also probably see an allergist to determine what it was he reacted to so that he can avoid it in the future.

On another note, in the movie, Hitch literally chugs down an entire bottle of liquid benadryl and acts drunk from it. That usually wouldn't have happened... rather, he would have gotten extremely drowsy and fallen asleep fairly quickly. However, in some individuals, it might occur.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you have ever taken a large dose of benadryl, but I recently did. I was stung by something and not knowing what it was, I took 5 liquid teaspoons of Benadryl to head off any reaction thinking it wouldnt do anything to me more then you suggest, make me VERY tired. WRONG..I felt a little inebriated. Balance was off, felt dizzy, and just an in general intoxicated feeling. So yes, Benadryl CAN have that effect on you :)

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