Anaphylaxis, you can help.
Following some recent highly published cases, and a case a lot closer to home, I think it would help you all to get a better understanding of Severe Allergies and Anaphylaxis. A life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can cause shock, a sudden drop in blood pressure and trouble breathing. In people who have an allergy, anaphylaxis can occur minutes after exposure to a specific allergy-causing substance (allergen). In some cases, there may be a delayed reaction or anaphylaxis may occur without an apparent trigger.
If you're with someone having an allergic reaction with signs of anaphylaxis:
- Immediately call 999 or 112
- Ask the person if he or she is carrying an epinephrine autoinjector to treat an allergic attack (for example, EpiPen, Twinject).
- If the person says he or she needs to use an autoinjector, ask whether you should help inject the medication. This is usually done by pressing the autoinjector against the person's thigh.
- Loosen tight clothing and cover the person with a blanket. Don't give the person anything to drink.
- If there's vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, turn the person on his or her side to prevent choking.
- If there are no signs of breathing, coughing or movement, begin CPR. Do uninterrupted chest presses — about 100 every minute — until paramedics arrive.
- Get emergency treatment even if symptoms start to improve. After anaphylaxis, it's possible for symptoms to recur. Monitoring in a hospital setting for several hours is usually necessary.
If you're with someone having signs of anaphylaxis, don't wait to see whether symptoms get better. Seek emergency treatment right away. In severe cases, untreated anaphylaxis can lead to death within half an hour. Allergies recognition and treatment are covered in detail within Occupational First Aid Courses.
Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Skin reactions including hives, itching, and flushed or pale skin
- Swelling of the face, eyes, lips or throat
- Constriction of the airways, leading to wheezing and trouble breathing
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness, fainting or unconsciousness
Some common anaphylaxis triggers include:
- Foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish
- Insect stings from bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and fire ants
If you've had any kind of severe allergic reaction in the past, ask your doctor if you should be prescribed an epinephrine autoinjector to carry with you. Ensuring you have your medicine is with you at all times and it is easily accessible are the best steps ensuring you get the help required, when needed.
The best First Aid for anaphylaxis and severe allergies starts with the sufferer of the condition, with them being prepared, with them have emergency medicine with them and ready at all times.
Take care, Chat soon.