Anaphylaxis is an extremely severe and often sudden allergic reaction. The reaction will often happen very quickly, within minutes of exposure to the allergen, but sometimes they can occur up to 2-3 hours after exposure.
In severe cases, there is a sudden fall in blood pressure and difficulty in breathing. This makes the reaction potentially life threatening.
Almost anything can be an allergen. Common allergens include eating items like shellfish, nuts, dairy products, or medicines or coming into contact with chemicals, animals, or insects.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis?
- Sudden swelling of the face, lips, tongue, neck, and eyes
- Red, blotchy, itchy skin
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing
- Abdominal pain, feeling or being sick
- Sudden feeling of weakness and dizziness
- Rapid weak pulse
- Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
Treatment for Anaphylaxis
- Dial 999/112 for an ambulance and mention “Anaphylaxis”
- If the casualty is not having breathing difficulties, lay them down flat on their back with their legs raised and supported.
- If breathing is difficult, sit the casualty down in an upright position.
- Allow the casualty to use their own adrenaline auto-injector (without delay). Once the adrenaline has been injected, you should start to see improvements quickly.
- If there is no improvement after 5 minutes, a second adrenaline dose may be needed. Seek guidance from the ambulance control if this may be the case.
- Offer lots of reassurance to the casualty
Current adrenaline auto injector (AAI) brands available in the UK include Epipen, Jext and Emerade. The different brands of AAI, have slightly different instructions. However, they are clearly indicated on the devices.
Video: Anaphylaxis Campaign YouTube Channel.
Interested in learning First Aid?
Why not attend one of First Aid Courses in High Wycombe that we run regularly. This is an ideal First Aid Course for Individuals and smaller groups.
We can also come in-house to your office of place of work at a date and time that suits your requirements to run a workplace First Aid Course. All we ask is that your provide us with the largest room possible to ensure there is plenty of space to carry out practical training tasks.
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