Medics saved teen after allergic reaction to cookie

Medics have been praised for saving a teenager who went into anaphylactic shock after eating a cookie.

Jensen Strachan, 15, did not have a known allergy but started feeling unwell on Saturday afternoon.

His mother Gillian drove him from their home in Inverallochy in Aberdeenshire to Fraserburgh's minor injuries unit (MIU) as his condition deteriorated.

After being treated there he was airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and has now recovered.

Mrs Strachan said she believed her son would have died if it had not been for the initial intervention of the MIU staff and expressed concern about a forthcoming reduction in opening hours for the unit.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction which can happen extremely quickly. It can be caused by things such as food or insect stings.

Jensen had a white chocolate cookie from a shop and on the drive home said he felt strange.

His mother got some allergy relief for him when they were back, but she said he felt dizzy so they got back in the car and drove the four-and-a-half miles (7km) back to Fraserburgh.

"The rate of deterioration was scary," she told BBC Scotland News. "He said his head felt numb."

They got to the MIU and Mrs Strachan went to raise the alarm, expecting her son to be just behind her.

"He was not there, I ran out the hospital and found him on the pavement gasping for air.

"Staff wheeled him in and administered adrenaline."

After the initial treatment, the Fraserburgh Academy pupil was taken to a waiting air ambulance to fly him to hospital. He was released on Sunday evening.

In March, the night-time closure of three minor injury units in the north east of Scotland - including the Fraserburgh one - was voted through.

The 24-hour clinics - also in Peterhead and Huntly - will be reduced, to save money.

From July, the units will remain open from 07:00 to 19:00, seven days a week.

Aberdeenshire's Integration Joint Board (IJB) said the move was part of budget setting which required £20m in savings.

The IJB comprises members of Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian, and oversees the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

'Going to cost lives'

"If it had happened anywhere else, or if it had been out of hours for the minor injuries unit, we are under no illusions what probably would have happened," Mrs Strachan said.

"From a terrifying situation for us, the positive is we can now deal with it - maybe the cookie saved his life.

"He's a really fit lad, which probably helped."

She added: "I am very thankful that we had outstanding medical care from our local unit.

"We as a family are eternal in debt to the NHS and more specifically those who treated him.

"But it worries me beyond measure what will happen to another person who can’t get the care and have a wait for an ambulance and followed by a 60-minute drive to Aberdeen.

"It's going to cost lives."

'Right care'

Jensen said he wanted to thank the staff who "saved" his life.

The teenager added he thought it was important the local MIU did not have reduced hours in case other people were not as "lucky" as he was.

Aberdeenshire HSCP said in a statement: “Whilst we cannot comment on specific circumstances, we would always take an opportunity to praise our staff.

“Making sure that people receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place is absolutely key to ensuring people get the best healthcare outcomes.

"If people need emergency care they should always dial 999 and ask for the ambulance service”

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