First Aid

Anaphylaxis (Severe Allergy)

​Anaphylaxis defined

Anaphylaxis (severe allergy) is the reaction of the human immune system to certain substances, such as: pollen, moth, fungi, some foods, etc. The Immune system usually attacks harmful objects that enter the body. In the case of allergy, though, the immune system perceives some normal substances as being harmful (receives a false alarm), and attacks them by producing antibodies (such as histamine) which develop allergic symptoms.

Anaphylactic shock
Anaphylactic shock is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that may hinder respiration, acute blood pressure, affect the pulse rate. The symptoms may begin in minutes from exposure to the allergic stimuli. The most common of allergic triggers include nuts, especially peanuts. 

Allergic triggers
  • Foods (such as egg, nuts, etc);
  • Insect stings (of bees, etc);
  • Allergy to natural rubber (latex), used in the manufacture of latex gloves, balloons, pencil rubbers, rubber balls, and some tubes and plugs used in laboratories. 

Anaphylactic symptoms
  • Swelling in the lips, tongue, face or eyes;
  • Swelling and narrowing in the throat;
  • Shortness of breath, and difficulty of speaking;
  • Skin rash (hives), vomiting and abdominal pain;
  • Dizziness and faintness.

An adrenaline (epinephrine) injection is emergency; i.e., the onset of the anaphylactic shock. 
Adrenaline injection
Adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors are used for emergency treatment of severe allergic (anaphylactic) reaction in the patients at risk of anaphylaxis. The injection contains a single (non-reusable) dose of epinephrine. 

Conditions in need of an adrenaline injection
Patients suffering an anaphylactic shock, triggered by:
o Sings of insects (such as bees, wasps and fire ants);
o Immunotherapy of allergy;
o Some foods;
o Patient-specific triggers, such as: contrast dye, and other allergy-stimulating substances;
o Anaphylactic with no known cause;
o Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIAn).

Adrenaline dosage
o The dose varies according to the athlete's weight.
o If the symptoms persist, the patient should be administered another dose five minutes after the first.

Precautions before taking an adrenaline injection
You should let the doctor know if you:
o Have allergy to the injection, or any of the ingredients thereof;
o Suffering from any of these health problems: cardiovascular disorders, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, thyroid gland disorders, elevated intraocular pressure (glaucoma), asthma, depression, Parkinson disease, renal disorders, or prostate gland abnormalities.

General tips
o It is critical to know the allergic triggers, and keep away from them.
o Carry the injection with you at all times.
o Tell your family and those around you about the injection, and how it is used if need arises.
o Inject it into the middle of the outer side of the thigh, through the clothes when necessary;
o Don’t inject it into the vein, gluteal muscle, hands or legs. If you injected it into the wrong part of the body, head to the nearest ER immediately.
o Make sure the child’s legs are restrained, to reduce their movement during injection.
o Check the injection every now and then; make sure that its color hasn’t turned pink, brown or whitish-gray, or that it contains precipitate.
o Adrenaline injection is sensitive to light; it should be kept in its package for protection against light.
o Avoid exposing the syringe to excessive coldness or heat, and keep it away from the direct sun.
o The syringe should be used by one person, only once (not reusable);
o Avoid reusing the remainder of the injection
o Adrenaline injection is not reusable; avoid using the remainder of the injection.
o Ask for help at the onset of allergic symptoms.
o Consult your doctor when signs and symptoms of infection are observed, including: constant flushness, high temperature or swelling in the injection area.
o Other symptoms may appear, such as: elevated pulse rate, sweating, vomiting, nausea, paleness, dizziness and headache. These symptoms usually become milder, and then disappear, when at rest.

Last Update : 04 November 2019 02:56 PM
Reading times :