Boy saved from deadly allergy

Posted by The Times of Trenton May 03, 2007 10:59PM

Categories: News

By: Robert Stern

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — Andrew Benevento’s parents got the scare of their lives over the weekend when their 2½ year-old son suffered a nasty and nearly fatal allergic reaction to peanut butter.

boyFrank Jacobs III/The Times

Rachel Benevento of Princeton poses with her son, Andrew, 2.

Luckily for them, the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad crew dispatched to their house in response to a 911 call from Andrew’s dad, Michael, were able to administer a life-saving antidote: a nonprescription shot of epinephrine.

The squad had only recently become one of a small number of basic life support EMT units around the state qualified to treat victims of severe allergic reactions with a shot of epinephrine.

The Princeton squad only began equipping its ambulances with EpiPens — auto-injecting syringes with epinephrine — eight days before Andrew suffered his potentially deadly allergic reaction Saturday to his first peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.

Andrew’s parents had no idea that their youngest child was allergic to peanuts, said his mom, Rachel Benevento.

Andrew, who has recovered after an overnight stay at The University Medical Center at Princeton, suffered several of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock — a sudden, severe allergic reaction — including difficulty breathing, hives and coughing, his mom said.