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Health & Fit A model who was left paralyzed after a severe allergic reaction to a peanut butter pretzel won nearly $30 million in a lawsuit

21:55  12 april  2021
21:55  12 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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  • Model Chantel Giacalone was paralyzed after an allergic reaction to a peanut butter pretzel in 2013.
  • Her family was awarded $29.5 million by a jury, alleging the ambulance service provided improper care.
  • Peanut allergies can be life-threatening, but a new treatment may help prevent fatal reactions.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An actress and model has been awarded nearly $30 million in damages after suffering permanent brain damage from an allergic reaction to a peanut butter pretzel, Fox News reports.

Chantel Giacalone was working at a fashion trade show in Las Vegas in 2013 when a bite of frozen yogurt topped with the pretzel sent her into anaphylactic shock. Paramedics responding to the scene treated her with intramuscular epinephrine, but did not have the intravenous version of medication, which first responders in the state are required to carry for severe allergic reactions.

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The lack of IV epinephrine left Giacalone's brain deprived of oxygen for minutes, her lawyer Christian Morris said, according to Fox News.

Now 35, Giacalone is quadriplegic, can only communicate with her eyes and requires 24-hour care, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


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Giacalone was awarded the money after her family sued the ambulance service that responded to the incident, alleging that paramedics did not provide adequate treatment. A jury ruled in favor of Giacalone's case on April 9. Her family said that the money from the lawsuit will be used to pay for her continued care, Fox News reported.

Life-threatening peanut allergies are increasingly common, but a new treatment could help

Peanut allergies are one of the most common forms of food allergy in the US, and rates of peanut allergies have been on the rise among children in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Symptoms of allergic reaction to peanuts can be mild, such as hives, itchiness, and runny nose, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, peanut allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly. Anaphylaxis can cause a major drop in blood pressure and swelling in the throat that prevents a person from breathing. This can lead to unconsciousness, brain damage, and death.

But there might soon be hope, at least for children with peanut allergies: last year, the FDA approved the first-ever peanut allergy medication to help reduce the risk of severe reactions for kids age 4 to 17. While people using the medication will still have to avoid peanuts, it could prevent severe responses to trace amounts of peanuts encountered accidentally, Insider previously reported.

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