All posts by Ryan Davis Philip



Two teens stung by Irukandji jellyfish

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Two teenagers have been rushed to hospital after they were both stung by the deadly Irukandji jellyfish while swimming at Fraser Island.

Natalie Wolfe @natwolfe94 DECEMBER 29, 2018 12:55PM

Warnings to Queenslanders after Irukandji jellyfish stings

Two teenagers have been rushed to hospital by helicopter after they were stung by deadly Irukandji jellyfish in waters off Fraser Island in Queensland yesterday.

A 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl were taken to Hervey Bay Hospital by the RACQ Lifeflight helicopter in a stable condition.

It’s understood the teens were on a boat with family just off the coast of the island when they were stung.

Emergency services were called to their boat off the island’s western coast. Two other people in their group with suspected stings were treated at the scene.


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First aid by surf lifesaver Paul Graham saved Joel’s life

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He was surfing on his own on Sunday morning … something so many Aussies do in their spare time.

Except yesterday Joel Mason was attacked by a shark (species as yet unknown), managed to swim to shore, was airlifted to John Hunter Hospital and is now recovering with five deep lacerations to one of his lower legs.

Unlucky to be there at that spot at that time, but incredibly lucky that Nambucca Heads surf lifesaver Paul Graham, 38, was not far away and was able to apply a tourniquet to Joel’s leg … something that probably saved his life.

Now on a flight overseas, Paul’s mother, Yvonne, said it was indeed fortunate for Joel that Paul was there.

“Paul knew exactly what to do and did it – he is very calm in moments like that,” Yvonne said.

According to Bowraville Central School’s principal, David Taylor, Joel, who is a sports teacher at the school, texted him this morning: “Guess what! not at work today”.

More about Joel and his Paddle 4 Kate

“He seemed in good spirits,” David said.

“He’s a well respected member of our staff and we are all thinking of him.”

REALISTIC: Richard Ellis offers sage advice about the risks of living
 REALISTIC: Richard Ellis offers sage advice about the risks of living

Also thinking of him was Nambucca surfer Richard Ellis, who was attacked in the same spot in 2001.

“The first thing I noticed was the helicopter hovering yesterday morning so I knew something was up.

“Then we heard Joel had been attacked … he’s a robust, tough guy and a really good surfer … I am really feeling for him today as the reality of the situation bites,” Richard said.

“It brings back a whole range of emotions … a sense of relief that it is not me, bizarrely, and also that he is alive – that we are both alive.

“Something like this shakes your sense of mortality profoundly – I can still feel that in my core.”

Nambucca Heads is still a safe great holiday destination
Richard Ellis

Richard said he was certainly more cautious now about where and when he surfed.

“I never surf if I see fish jumping because the risk is clearly greater if there is food around … but basically the risk is always there and with more people, more interactions are always likely.

“But then again, there are so many other things that could kill you – my favourite book now is Death by Coconut, 50 Things more Dangerous than a Shark.”



Legless! Red-bellied black snake snuggles into surprising spot

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A wayward red-bellied black snake brought a new meaning to the word “legless” after the metre-long serpent managed to curl its way inside a wine glass.

The venomous reptile was photographed snug inside the glass in Adelaide, sending many wine aficionados into a frenzy.

“Glass of red…. belly,” Snake Catchers Adelaide joked, sharing the picture to Facebook yesterday after it was called out to remove the snake.

The reptile was seen coiled up tightly inside the glass on a table, beside a bottle of Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz.

A red-bellied black snake was photographed coiled snug inside a wine glass in Adelaide. Source: Snake Catchers Adelaide / Facebook

“This red belly is almost a metre long, it’s just to show you how small of a space snakes can inhabit,” the reptile expert wrote.

“They love tight confined spaces. It makes them feel safe and secure. And he didn’t want to get out!”

One woman who saw the picture joked it was “not quite the full-bodied red” she liked to see on a Sunday afternoon.

Many others commended the snake for its fine choice of drop.

“We have the snake catchers come to Mollydooker every year for snake awareness training, first time I have seen one in a glass!” one man commented.

One woman asked if the serpent was drunk, to which the snake catcher joked: “Think so he couldn’t walk properly.”

Red-bellied black snakes are one of the most frequently encountered snakes on the east coast of Australia, and are responsible for a number of bites every year, according to the Australian Museum.

They are a shy species and generally do not deliver a serious bite unless severely provoked.

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Perth Man Was Dead For 12 Minutes

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Mon 19 Nov 2018 11.07 PM

A Perth man owes his life to a group of strangers and an Australian-first technology.

A mobile phone app saved Mark Lee’s life after he suffered a heart attack in the city’s CBD.

As frantic passersby tried to bring Lee back on Murray Street, Danny Rummukainen– who was entering a meeting just a block away– was alerted to the emergency by his St John First  Responder app.

“Straight away looked at it, told one of my other supervisors let’s go,” he told 10 News First.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Mark Lee was dead for 12 minutes after suffering a heart attack in Murray Street. A mobile phone app and some city strangers brought him back to life. See how @ 5pm @ stjohn_wa # perthnews @ 10NewsFirst @ 10Daily

7:29 PM – Nov 19, 2018

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The app allows qualified first aiders to sign up as a first responder to receive notifications when someone has called 000 for an ambulance within 500 metres of their current location.

It also provides life saving tips and the location of all nearby defibrillators — a feature which Rummukainen used when responding to Lee.

According to doctors, the 58-year-old was dead for about 12 minutes before this quick response ahead of an ambulance started his heart again.

“[I’m] eternally grateful. I can’t say enough,” an emotional Lee told 10 News First.

“He looked at me and said ‘you actually died’ and I said ‘I know’. Under any other circumstances I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.”

Image: 10 News First

The first moments after someone suffers a heart attack are critical.

Lee was rushed to hospital and put in a coma, but without the speedy response and early intervention of a trained first aider, the outcome may have been very different.

“This is life saving technology,” Paul Hogg, the paramedic who attended the scene, said of the app.

The St John First Responder App. Image: St John WA

“Steve just highlights how important early effective CPR and early defibrillation is.”

Since launching in WA in 2017, thousands of trained volunteers have signed up to the St John First  Responder app. Similar apps are also in use in New Zealand and the UK.

To become a first repsonder, volunteers must have completed a first aid course within the past three years and the minimum qualification level of Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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Compulsory first aid training for L-platers

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All learner drivers in NSW should be required to do first-aid training in a bid to reduce the state’s road toll, a parliamentary committee on road safety has been told.

Learner drivers should be required to do five hours of first-aid training as part of their 120 hours of driver training, St John Ambulance has proposed in a submission to the Staysafe Committee’s review of road safety issues.

Learner drivers should be required to do five hours of first-aid training as part of their 120 hours of driver training, St John Ambulance says.

Learner drivers should be required to do five hours of first-aid training as part of their 120 hours of driver training, St John Ambulance says.

The first-aid training would focus on the three leading causes of death in a road accident by teaching new drivers how to control bleeding, clear airway obstruction and perform CPR, and could save more than 50 lives every year.

There have been 376 fatalities on NSW roads in the past 12 months and nearly 11,600 serious injuries in the 12 months to March.

Chair of the Staysafe standing committee Greg Aplin said the St John submission is one of 34 it received in response to a call for ideas from the community on ways to improve road safety.

“We made this call because we were conscious of stakeholder interest in the issue and we thought this was something unusual we could do in NSW to see the topics emanating from the community,” Mr Aplin said.

“There were topics raised that we’re very familiar with, there are always those things that irritate the public like people not keeping to the left in dual carriageways, but two submissions stood out.

“One was that the people who are first on the scene of a crash are often other drivers and compulsory first-aid training for learner drivers definitely has road safety merit, other countries including Germany and Australia already have that as compulsory.”

Mr Aplin said that how much training is needed and whether it is a practical proposal would need to be examined by the government but that the idea has merit.

“We believe that saving lives and reducing the impact of injuries is important and we need to look at whether this is a means of achieving that,” he said.

There have been 376 fatalities on NSW roads in the past 12 months and nearly 11,600 serious injuries in the 12 months to March.

There have been 376 fatalities on NSW roads in the past 12 months and nearly 11,600 serious injuries in the 12 months to March. CREDIT: MARINA NEIL

St John Ambulance said it already provides first aid training to more than 55,000 people every year and has 3000 volunteers available to roll out the initiative.

“The First on Scene training course would be delivered using the latest technology combining both on-line and practical learning techniques to [fully] engage the 16-24 target audience,” the submission states.

“We believe that the introduction of first aid training in key trauma areas for all learner drivers offers the NSW government the most significant and cost effective opportunity to reduce the state’s road toll and save over 50 lives each year.”

Mr Aplin said another noteworthy submission, from young driver educator Blue Datto, proposed more targeted campaigns to address local road issues, especially in regional communities.

Other submissions called for more local road funding to reduce fatalities, the improvement of crash investigations and changes to the heavy vehicle industry.

“One of the things that I personally hope will happen out of this inquiry will be that the government will see the areas of concern and follow those up,” Mr Aplin said.

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Drones, jet skis and free first aid

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Drones and jet skis will patrol the skies and sea during surf events and surfers will be offered free first aid training under a suite of new shark mitigation measures unveiled on Saturday.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly announced the measures at Trigg Beach alongside Surfing WA chief executive Mark Lane.

Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane with Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly launching their new partnership at Trigg Beach.

Surfing WA CEO Mark Lane with Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly launching their new partnership at Trigg Beach.

Under a partnership with Surfing WA the state government will provide two surveillance drones and a jet ski to keep surfers safe during events and will fund the Surfers Rescue 365 program for three years, which will deliver free first aid training tailored to surfers.

Four other measures were also revealed including a new scientific advisory panel on sharks, a new Shark Smart app, a refreshed Shark Smart website and improved whale carcass management.

The app would provide real-time alerts direct to mobile devices while the website would feature a new shark activity map with details about satellite-linked receiver locations, beach enclosures and surf life saving club locations.

It will also launch the $365,000 ‘Sea Sense’ education campaign to notify the public of the strategies.

Shark attacks are ingrained in the public consciousness after the Margaret River Pro was sensationally shut down following shark attacks earlier this year.

On Monday a 33-year-old was killed while in the Whitsundays.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the new initiatives would bolster the existing shark mitigation strategy, giving ocean users more information, more choice and more assistance.

“Starting tomorrow, we also have a new campaign to help Western Australians develop their Sea Sense and stay safe,” he said.


Margaret River Pro back on calendar in May to thwart 'aggressive sharks'


Margaret River Pro back on calendar in May to thwart ‘aggressive sharks’

“It can be the simple things that can keep us all safe, like checking the SharkSmart website for shark activity, finding your nearest patrolled beach, or buying a scientifically proven personal shark deterrent if you’re a surfer or diver.

“Usage of the SharkSmart website is lower than we’d like and therefore it is really important Western Australians know they have the tools to make information choices.

“This summer we’re encouraging all Western Australians to bring their Sea Sense to the beach.”

Mr Lane said the measures were a step in the right direction.

“Is there more that should be or could be done? Yes to both of those but the fact is these initiatives are really the most that ever has been done in this space historically,” he said.

“There is no silver bullet but hopefully with a collection of these initiatives they provide a safer environment.”

A SMART drumline trial will start off Gracetown in 2019.

Mr Lane welcomed the trial.

“The fact that the government is going to come up with an evidence based approach, it will answer whether it works or not and will put that argument to bed,” he said.



Deter snakes from your house and yard

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November 11, 2018 5:40pm

NO one wants to come home to this: a six-and-a-half foot eastern brown snake residing in your garage.

But for another homeowner in Yandina Creek, this is exactly what he found when after a period away he went to the garage to get some tools and instead found a massive brown snake next to his tool bag.

Rhys Chapman from Rhys Chapman Wildlife Services said the man dashed upstairs to call him.

Snake catcher Rhys Chapman with the massive eastern brown snake. Picture: Rhys Chapman Wildlife Services | Facebook

He stayed on the stairs while on the phone and watched the snake disappear into the back corner of the garage.

“It was definitely unnerving not knowing where this big animal was but a minute or two after looking he poked his head out from underneath a bit of timber,” he said.

Mr Chapman put down a board to stop it escaping and as it turned, he quickly scooped it up.

“The tendency for a snake to run is very, very high, particularly in an open area like that.

“I was lucky more than anything,” he said.

The snake, thought to be at least 10 years old, was then relocated.

Snake catcher Rhys Chapman says as more and more houses are built, snakes are running out of their natural habitat and seeking refuge in people’s yards. Picture: Rhys Chapman Wildlife Services | Facebook

It is the second six foot brown snake to be relocated from Yandina Creek in a matter of weeks.

Recently, another family discovered a monster brown snake on top of their fridge. It then slithered down into their shoe rack.

Mr Chapman said this time of year snakes are looking for mates and browns in particular have adapted well to our suburban areas.

“It’s the time of year when they do come out.

“And we have been seeing more snakes around homes because with more developments there is nowhere for them to go except for the areas between homes.”

Mr Chapman is urging everyone to be vigilant and has these suggestions on how to snake proof your yard, what to do if you see a snake or find one in your house.


Mr Chapman said the biggest deterrents when it comes to snakes is a nice clean yard, free of debris, rubbish and freshly mown lawn.

“Keep your yarn very clean.

“If you have building material, store it up off the ground. If you can’t, keep it away from the house.

“Don’t store firewood next to the house or the chook pen. If you’re creating essentially a hide where they’re safe and warm, you’ll be encouraging them.”

Mr Chapman said a snake’s main prey is rodents.

“Aviaries and chooks bring in rodents and in turn this brings in snakes.

“Put chook pens at the back of the home.

“Feed your chooks just what they eat and be conscious that there is known to be snakes in this area and take precautions.

“Have a stick with a mirror on it that you can hold to see around the corner into the chook pen and under roosts.”

He also suggests keeping your lawn very short.

“It makes them very uncomfortable if they can’t hide and 95 to 100 times they’re going to pass straight through.”


Mr Chapman said if you are in close proximity to a snake stand completely still.

“Snakes will react to your movement. If you stand still they can’t see you.

“If you’re not too close, keep looking at the animal and back away.

“Do not ever attempt to go near or catch the animal. Take a photo and send it through it to us and we can point you to the right path as to whether it needs to be relocated or not.”

Mr Chapman said they get a lot of calls out of panic.

“Once we get them to calm down and send us through a photo sometimes it’s a snake that’s just going to keep moving, like a common tree snake.

“Most of the calls we receive are for identification.”

But for relocations, Mr Chapman works with other snake catchers on the Coast so they can have someone there within 15 minutes.

“I’m in Coolum and we have catchers in Nambour/Woombye and Noosa that we work with.

“Depending on situation we want to get to a client as quickly as possible for relocating or monitoring.

“And we all have the same passion and care for the reptiles.”


“If you’re unfortunate enough to have one inside the house, isolate the room,” Mr Chapman said.

Do this by closing the door and putting a towel down.

“In an open area, put a piece of ply or something high down to stop it escaping.

“If you can’t, call a snake catcher and try keep an eye on it if you can.

“That snake is freaking out, it can barely slither across tiles and there is commotion going on.

“It is best to keep calm, get on the phone to a snake catcher and we’ll come attend the situation.”

Mr Chapman said snake catchers also do more than just relocate snakes.

“We’re not just here to catch a snake and remove it. We’re here to help the general public.

“So if anyone is concerned or wants to know what they can do to make their yards less snake friendly, give us a call.”

You can see the treatment for a snake bite above and make sure to complete a first aid course so you are prepared.

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WA man flown to hospital after shark bite

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A bodyboarder has been flown to Royal Perth Hospital after he was bitten by a shark at a beach south of the city.

NOVEMBER 11, 2018 9:43PM



Safety measures lead agenda at shark summit

A bodyboarder bitten by a shark south of Perth has been flown to hospital as the WA Premier urged beachgoers not to be “too frightened” in the water.

Police say the man, aged in his 20s, felt something grab his leg while at Pyramids Beach at Dawesville about 8.30am on Sunday.

St John Ambulance said the injured man “suffered traumatic injuries to a foot and ankle” and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital.

The injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

“He had been attacked on the lower part of the leg, with a couple of meaty bites,” witness Damian Baker told Fairfax Media.

The Sharksmart website says the beach was closed until further notice and advised those in waters in the Mandurah area take additional caution.

Premier Mark McGowan said the Sharksmart website, helicopter monitoring program, shark tagging, swimming enclosures and rebates for shark deterrents were examples of his government’s action towards preventing shark attacks.

“We just have to keep a level head and make sure we put in place sensible policies based on evidence,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“Everything a government can be doing, we’re doing.

“I urge everyone not to be too frightened but to take precautions.”

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly on Saturday announced new shark surveillance methods for WA surfing events, a new advertising campaign to educate the public on avoiding shark attacks and an independent panel to advise on new technology and policies.

Great White Shark seen off the coast of WA.

Great White Shark seen off the coast of WA. Source:Supplied

2.5 metre long crocodile spotted swimming off The Strand

KEAGAN ELDER, Townsville Bulletin

A crocodile has been spotted swimming off Townsville’s The Strand this morning.

Joanna Henderson, of North Ward, spotted the reptile she estimated to be about 2—2.5 metres long swimming against the tide off the point at Picnic Bay Surf Lifesaving Club about 11am.

“It was just out past the yellow buoys put out,” Ms Henderson said.

“It was quite close to the shore.”

Ms Henderson said there were people swimming in the stinger nets at the time.

But the crocodile glided past the swimming spot towards the port.

Ms Henderson said she regularly walks by The Strand and swims at the Jezzine Barracks end, but this was the first time she had seen a crocodile off the popular Townsville beach.

“I had a swim there earlier this morning. He (the crocodile) was probably down there too,” she said.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one so close and the first time I have seen one down there.”

Ms Henderson said she was with friends from South Africa who were shocked to see the crocodile.

Last month a crocodile had been spotted in Ross Creek near the Metropole Hotel.

Wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science said that crocodile was 1 metre long.

To report a crocodile sighting, phone 1300 130 372.

– AAP, with the Townsville Bulletin

A crocodile spotted in Townsville. picture: NT Parks, Wildlife and Heritage

A crocodile spotted in Townsville. picture: NT Parks, Wildlife and Heritage Source:Supplied

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This is what it looks like when nuts are served on planes

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THIS Aussie mother’s kids feared she would die during a terrifying situation on a flight. Now she’s calling for urgent changes.

Lauren McMah @lauren_mcmah NOVEMBER 7, 2018 3:16PM

AN AUSTRALIAN woman has shared the shocking reality of what it’s like to fly with an airborne allergy as she calls on passengers to stop supporting the sale of nut products on flights.

Em Lee posted photos of what she believed was a reaction to nut residue left on a plane seat or tray table that she possibly touched or inhaled during a domestic flight on the weekend.

Ms Lee said her children were “terrified” she would die during her episode, though she deemed it to be only a “minor” reaction.

But she used her frightening experience to remind all plane passengers that nut products, which have long been popular snacks on flights, had the potential for much worse.

“Having a life-threatening airborne allergy is like boarding a plane and enduring the whole flight with a person holding a loaded gun to your head. It is horrible,” Ms Lee said.

Em Lee had a reaction to airborne allergens on a flight on the weekend. Picture: Em Lee

Em Lee had a reaction to airborne allergens on a flight on the weekend. Picture: Em LeeSource:Facebook

“This also affects my children emotionally in a huge way. They were so traumatised thinking I would die on last night’s plane, despite me calmly reassuring them the whole time. They are terrified.”

Almost three in 100 Australian children have a peanut allergy, and only 20 per cent of children outgrow the allergy, according to Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia.

Allergies to tree nuts, which include almonds, walnuts, macadamias, pine nuts and many others, are also prevalent in Australia, which has among the highest rate of food allergies in the world.

And for those with airborne allergies, it’s not enough to avoid eating or touching a particular product — the reaction happens when sufferers breathe in the allergen, which can be extremely difficult to avoid.

She said these photos were taken hours after the reaction when she’d already had medication. Picture: Em Lee

She said these photos were taken hours after the reaction when she’d already had medication. Picture: Em Lee Source:Facebook

Ms Lee said while the number of people who had potentially life-threatening airborne allergies was very small, she wanted to see fewer airborne allergens served in confined spaces, like plane cabins.

“Long-haul flights are the worst, where I need to carry my own tracheostomy kit in case I need to perform my own surgical airway,” she said.

“There aren’t too many airborne allergens that are this severe/life-threatening, and also common. I wish there was a way to avoid it to at least some degree.

“Of course I can and do avoid environments where nuts are present, and there are usually hospitals and paramedics with appropriate medication if required available. Being in the air is a completely different ball game.”

She said it appeared important “people aren’t being withheld from their rights to be served nuts on planes … a super important snack they couldn’t possibly go without”.

“Thanks society for pushing for your rights to be served nuts on aeroplanes, and thank you to the airlines who insist that they will never reconsider this snack option due to high demand,” she said.

While airlines continued to serve nut products on planes — which are difficult for people with airborne allergies to avoid — other passengers could do their part to help, Ms Lee said.

“Please avoid bringing nuts on planes, or purchasing them,” she said, pointing out supply equals demand.

“If demand stops, they may be more receptive to taking them off the menu.

“Be supportive of those living with this. It truly is an insanely traumatic thing to live with!”

In the meantime, Ms Lee used her post on Facebook to share flying tips for people with potentially life-threatening airborne allergies — and the list is exhausting.

Nuts are common on flights, as a snack or as an ingredient in cooked meals.

Nuts are common on flights, as a snack or as an ingredient in cooked meals.Source:istock

She said: “Take antihistamines before and during flights. Pack at least 3 EpiPens. Advise airline in advance — twice — and document who you spoke to. Ask flight crew to request that passengers avoid eating nuts during the flight. Ask crew not to serve nuts on plane. Wipe down seat and tray with disposable antibacterial wipes (or get a partner or crew member to do this if possible). Pack a dust/gas mask. Pack an emergency kit for the plane to hold for you (they don’t allow it on normally due to liquid and sharps restrictions). Kit should include at least 5x 1mg ampoules of adrenaline, hydrocortisone, ventolin, intramuscular needles, cannula, glucagon (for those on beta blockers), sodium chloride (fluids), and a full tracheostomy kit. Then hope there’s a doctor on board who can perform all of this in under 20 minutes!”

She also said people with airborne allergies should get a letter from their GP explaining the need for all that equipment on board.

“The emergency kit can be in the care of flight crew at all times to maximise safety for other passengers,” she said.

Airlines have been criticised for what some passengers believe to be poor handling of their allergies.

Sundeep and Shannen were shocked by the crew member’s solution to their life-threatening allergies. Picture: This Morning/ITV

Sundeep and Shannen were shocked by the crew member’s solution to their life-threatening allergies. Picture: This Morning/ITV Source:Supplied

In May, a brother and sister, both with severe nut allergies, claimed Emirates flight crew told them to spend the seven-and-a-half hour flight in the plane’s bathroom if they wanted to avoid nuts being served in the cabin.

Shannen, 24, and Sundeep Sahota, 33, said they told Emirates staff three times of their potentially life-threatening allergy but 40 minutes into the flight, the pair were “panic-stricken” when they learned the chicken main course contained cashews.

They feared they would be exposed to nut residue that could be carried through air vents. Emirates apologised for the incident but said it “cannot guarantee completely nut-free flights”.

In March, a mother slammed American Airlines after her son, 10, nearly died after eating a cashew on a flight from Aruba to the United States.

Francine Ingrassia said son Luca had a near-fatal allergic reaction after eating one cashew on a flight. The family didn’t know Luca had an allergy to the nut. Picture: Francine Ingrassia

Francine Ingrassia said son Luca had a near-fatal allergic reaction after eating one cashew on a flight. The family didn’t know Luca had an allergy to the nut. Picture: Francine Ingrassia Source:Facebook

Francine Ingrassia said flight crew were not equipped to deal with her son’s medical emergency.

“If it was not for the quick-thinking stewardess on the plane, the nurse who administered the EpiPen and cared for him the entire trip and passengers who gave us their EpiPens, this would have been fatal,” she said.

In a case that was recently heard by a British coroner, the daughter of a millionaire businessman died after a flight from eating a sandwich she had bought at Heathrow Airport.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, collapsed on a flight from London to Nice after eating the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette, which contained sesame seeds.

Despite being given two doses of drugs and an EpiPen, Natasha died in hospital in France.

Her parents are now campaigning for changes in the UK’s food labelling laws.

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Asthma Boy

Thunderstorm asthma: NSW Health warns asthmatics to be prepared

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Cathy Stubbs, Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
November 6, 2018 2:49pm

People prone to respiratory conditions and hayfever have been warned to take extra care today due to the risk of thunderstorm triggered asthma.

Thunderstorms are forecast across much of NSW today prompting NSW Health’s Environmental Health director, Dr Richard Broome, to warn about high levels of pollen in the air, which could trigger asthma and respiratory conditions when combined with storms.

“Even if you don’t have asthma, you should take extra care because pollen is at its highest level now and may spark breathing difficulties in some people,” Dr Broome said.

Close-up of a man using an inhaler. Asthma inhaler. Thinkstock.

“Thunderstorms cause pollen grains to explode and release fine particles which can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing even more people to wheeze and sneeze,” he said.

In Melbourne in 2016, about 3,600 more people than usual presented to hospital and nine died from asthma attacks after a severe thunderstorm.

“While Sydney hasn’t had a major event like Melbourne, thunderstorm asthma events have been significant in rural areas of NSW and while unlikely, we can’t rule out a similar event happening here,” Dr Broome said.

thunder storms can lead to serious problems for people with hayfever, asthma or other respiratory problems.

“Anyone with diagnosed asthma should carry their asthma medication with them at all times during this high-risk period.

“If you have asthma, make sure you have an asthma action plan and are proactively managing your symptoms.

“It’s also important for people to know Asthma first aid, so they can help family and friends when they need it,” Dr Broome said.


  • Sit the person upright;
  • Give four separate puffs from their reliever puffer;
  • Wait four minutes and if there’s no improvement, give four more puffs; and
  • If there’s still no improvement, dial 000.
  • Breathing difficulties can be life threatening. In the event of an asthma emergency dial triple-0 (000) immediately.

Book to learn more on asthma at the best first aid courses in Canberra.