Texas parents are fighting to save the lives of their children, with one mother pleading with a doctor to prescribe allergy medicine instead of a nasal spray to help her son with his asthma.
“I just want to see my child die,” said mother Toni Bragg, who asked that her last name not be used for fear of retribution.
Her 13-year-old son, Jordan, is allergic to pollen, dust and soot and is hospitalized at an Austin hospital.
Bragg is hoping that when his mother prescribes allergy medicine he will be better than he was before.
But Dr. Kevin J. Brack of Austin Children’s Hospital said allergies can affect kids’ development, including their ability to breathe.
“We’ve known for quite some time that kids have asthma and if they don’t have asthma it’s not a problem.
And we’re seeing it in children that have asthma,” he said.
Brack is not alone in her fears.
About 5 million people in the U.S. have asthma, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
A recent survey found more than 1 in 5 Americans do not know they have asthma.
And there is growing concern about the health of children, especially with the rise in asthma-related hospitalizations.
“My son was diagnosed with asthma in March of last year,” said Bragg.
“I’m trying to keep the child safe, but he is very allergic.
We have to have a decision made whether we’re going to be in the position to send him to the hospital or send him home with his dad.”
Dr. Bracked’s son has asthma and has been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans.
Bracking said that because of that, he has to take his son to Austin Childrens Hospital in the evenings.
The asthma medication she is trying to save her son from is called anaphylaxis inhaler.
Bracks’ doctor says it can be hard to find an allergy doctor in Austin.
She said she found one at a Wal-Mart, but it didn’t seem to be the right doctor.
Bragg is now considering a different allergy medicine.
She hopes to find a doctor at another hospital who can prescribe allergy medicines.
“They’re expensive, but we don’t need that money, but I do need that doctor,” she said.
She said she thinks the asthma medicine is a “nice touch.”
“They put their heart into it, and they are really caring, and I think they’re really doing what they can for our family,” she added.
Dr. J. Peter DeFries, a pediatric allergist at Baylor College of Medicine, told Fox News that the asthma medication can be prescribed only by a doctor who has been trained in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma.
He said allergies are complex and not simple.
“If you take the pollen out of the air and put it in a spray, then it’s going to take a little bit longer to work its way through the body,” said DeFrys.
“You have to see it through that lens and not put your head down and say ‘I’m going to save your life,’ ” said DeFsays.
Doctors in the United States are also trying to help children with allergies.
Doctors at the University of California, San Francisco’s Children’s Institute for the Study of Children with Asthma are using an online app called Aventis to help parents with their allergies.
The app has been downloaded more than 200,000 times.
“We have a lot of kids with asthma, so we want to help them understand what their needs are and to provide information about the medications that are available,” said Dr. David C. Bischoff, a professor of pediatric medicine and director of the Children’s Immunology Clinic at the UC San Francisco Children’s Cancer Center.
“There’s a lot out there, and we need to be on the front lines to provide that,” said Bischow.
In an email to Fox News, Bischowsky said Aventus is an important tool for families with children who have allergies.
“The Aventi app has provided families with the information they need to understand their child’s allergies and to develop a plan for when they feel that asthma is becoming worse,” said the email.
But Bischoffs concerns have been echoed by other experts.
The American Academy for Allergy and Asthma, a professional group for pediatricians, said in a statement that parents need to get the advice of their doctor before deciding whether to prescribe an allergy medicine for their children.
“While we applaud pediatricians for being able to identify children with asthma who are in need of the appropriate treatment, we believe that the time to act is now,” said AAFTA president Dr. Jonathan R. Steinberg.