Family petitions for a more dedicated allergy clinic in Quebec after the death of her daughter
The family of a teenager who died suddenly of a serious allergic reaction is asking the Quebec government to create an allergy clinic in the Outaouais to prevent their tragedy from happening to others.
Currently, the nearest allergy clinic is in Montreal, about two hours away.
On the night of June 25, 15-year-old Sarah-Émilie Hubert suffered a severe allergic reaction. She was allergic to milk and eggs.
After administering an EpiPen – a spring-loaded injector containing epinephrine that is often prescribed to people with severe allergies – her father, Stéphane Hubert, and mother, Lyne Robert, took her to the emergency room as she continued to have difficulty breathing.
Resuscitation attempts by hospital staff proved unsuccessful and Sarah-Émilie Hubert was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Family calls for improved allergy services
“Since my daughter died, I can’t do anything anymore,” said Hubert.
Following the death of their daughter, the family asked the Quebec government to open allergy clinics in all regions of the province, including the Outaouais.
“We need someone to make this happen,” he said.
As of this writing, the petition has garnered over 500 signatures.
“We need these services,” Hubert said in French. “Sarah-Émilie would have liked to have these services.
“These are things that exist, that work. I don’t know what we’re waiting for.… It can save lives.”
The dangers of a severe allergy were clear
Sarah-Émilie Hubert was aware of the dangers posed by her allergies. She even made anaphylaxis, the immune reaction to an allergen that can cause breathing difficulties and low blood pressure, the subject of a high school project.
In her presentation, recorded on video and viewed by Radio-Canada, she deplored the lack of allergy resources in the region.
Currently, the closest clinic to Quebec is located at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center to Montreal.
“We are now saying to ourselves: we should have moved to Montreal,” Hubert said in a previous French-language interview with Radio-Canada, less than two weeks after his daughter’s death.
“We had hoped that things would develop in the Outaouais,” added Robert. “That’s what we told Sarah-Émilie. There are some in Montreal, it’s going to happen in Gatineau, it’s going to come.”
The Outaouais allergy clinics did not come quickly enough for their daughter.
In a statement in French emailed to Radio-Canada, the Outaouais public health authority, the Outaouais Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS), indicates that even if the region has access to two allergists, the services offered could be improved.
“Work is currently underway,” the statement read.
Clinics can help prevent future tragedies
Family physician Dr. Peter Lin said allergy clinics can provide specialized, dedicated care for people with severe or complex allergies, which could have long-term benefits for those patients and the healthcare system. as a whole due to the reduction in tension. on emergency rooms.
“In a specialized center, they would have all this information and it would be easy for them to put it together,” Lin said.
“So it might cost money to set it up…in the long run it’s actually going to save money and maybe save lives.”
Lin said an added benefit of more allergy clinics would be a much larger data set with which to conduct allergy research, potentially allowing medical professionals to predict a young person’s allergies based on his family history.
He sees “tremendous potential…in terms of predicting allergies and making sure people never have that horrific event where someone is lost to an allergic reaction.”
Commemorated by the community, the team
Sarah-Émilie Hubert had a passion for baseball from an early age. His team honored him in a recent game and will wear a sticker on his batting helmet in memory of his teammate for the rest of the season.
Maryse Gaudreault, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Hull, agreed to meet the family at the beginning of August. She specified that she will also attend Sarah-Émilie’s funeral scheduled for Monday, in order to support the family.
Gaudreault presents the family’s petition for more allergy clinics to the provincial legislature. The petition will remain open for new signatures on the website of the National Assembly of Quebec until the end of August.