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Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis


Dealing with Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can lead to death if left untreated. The symptoms can be subtle at first, but they are capable of escalating into a life and death situation within moments. If not treated immediately, shock or even death can occur very quickly.

The symptoms you may see in anaphylaxis reaction are:

  • Swelling, itching, or tingling in the throat or mouth
  • Hives or redness on the skin, with or without itching
  • Difficulty with breathing, swallowing or talking
  • Abdominal symptoms such as vomiting nausea, diarrhea or cramping
  • Abruptly lowering blood pressure
  • Confusion, or sudden fear
  • Dizziness or fainting

If any two types of symptoms are present together, there is a good chance it's an anaphylaxis reaction. There are some things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms that may be experienced, and buy some time until medical intervention is available. Using a rescue inhaler, such as Albuterol, will help with any respiratory symptoms. If there is An Antihistamine, such as Benadryl available, it should help with any allergy symptoms, making them milder.

One of the most important things you can do if you have allergies to food, insect stings, latex, or medication is to have an EpiPen on hand. An EpiPen contains a self injecting medication called Epinephrine, which is the medicine used to treat severe allergic reactions. Using an EpiPen injection can deliver the necessary medication to treat all of the symptoms. Medical intervention is still needed, but there will be more time to get it before the symptoms become worse.

Anaphylaxis happens to millions of people a year, and about 400 of those people die from it. Knowing what the symptoms are, what to do in a medical emergency and the importance of immediate medical attention can prevent death from anaphylaxis.

If you or one of your children has allergies that are known, being prepared for an emergency means you will instruct anyone who is regularly a part of your life about anaphylaxis. Educating caretakers, school personnel, grandparents, or anyone else children with allergies may be left with about recognizing anaphylaxis, and what to do if there is an attack, could be the difference between life and death.

Avoiding the things you are allergic to is important, but so is realizing that accidental exposure does happen sometimes. Another thing to keep in mind is that occasionally people who have no known allergies have an anaphylaxis attack. Sometimes the cause will never be known, but knowing what to do in case there is one can be a lifesaver.

To learn more about anaphylaxis and how to deal with it, visit Allergy Anaphylaxis.