Dr. John Saryan, an Andover allergist, will be the speaker at the Merrimack Valley Asthma & Allergy Educational Support Group’s meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at St. Michael Elementary School, opposite St. Michael Parish Church, 196 Main St., North Andover.
In his presentation, titled “Anaphylaxis: Understanding and Preventing Severe Allergic Reactions,” Saryan will explain how to recognize, prevent and take care of someone who may be experiencing anaphylaxis. He will also identify how to decide when to use epinephrine, the life-saving medication that comes in automatic easy-to-use injector devices. All of the devices now on the market will be presented and Saryan will demonstrate how to use them; discount coupons for them will be available.
Saryan is chairman of the Department of Allergy and Immunology at Lahey Clinic in Burlington and one of the medical advisors to the support group.
At a time when food allergies are increasingly common, especially among children, Kim Sousa of Andover, one of the support group leaders, says the presentation aims to emphasize the need for everyone to know how to recognize the symptoms of a life-threatening reaction and be prepared to give immediate treatment.
“We especially encourage parents, teachers, child-care providers and the friends and relatives of people with allergies to attend,” Sousa says. “What they learn may help save a life some day.”
The program is open free to the public; registration is not required. Everyone who attends will receive a free, comprehensive book about food allergies.
The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, New England organizes educational programs throughout the region, publishes a newsletter and runs a telephone resource and information line for people coping with allergies and asthma. For more information, or a free copy of “Eating Out with Food Allergies,” call 781-444-7778 or visit www.asthmaandallergies.org.