Anaphylaxis – Understanding, Recognition, and First Aid Treatment
Have you ever heard of the term anaphylaxis? If not, it’s essential that you know what it is and how to recognise it, especially if you or your loved ones are prone to severe allergies.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs when the body overreacts to an allergen, such as bee stings, certain foods, or medications. When a person has an anaphylactic reaction, their immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, that cause a rapid and severe response throughout the body. Anaphylaxis can affect the airways, skin, gut, and heart, which can lead to shock and, in some cases, death.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include hives, itching, swelling of the face, lips, and throat, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If you or someone around you shows these signs of anaphylaxis, it’s crucial to act quickly and get immediate medical attention and to administer epinephrine, a medication that relaxes the airways and tightens blood vessels. Epinephrine comes in the form of an auto-injector, commonly known as an EpiPen or Jext Pen, which delivers a single dose of the medication. If someone is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, use their auto-injector by injecting it into the upper outer thigh muscle..
First aid treatment for anaphylaxis is very important and is as follows –
- Call 999/112 for emergency help
- Sit the person up if they are having airway or breathing issues, otherwise lay them down in a comfortable position, with legs raised if they are feeling lightheaded.
- If they have an adrenaline auto-injector (EpiPen/Jext), assist the casualty in administering this into their upper outer thigh (it will go through clothing).
- If the person loses consciousness, Open their Airway and Check their Breathing for 10 secs, if Breathing Normally, place in to the Recovery Position, if Not Breathing Normally, start CPR
- If the person has a second adrenaline auto-injector, this can be administer 5 mins after the first dose if there is no improvement or symptoms return.
- While waiting for help to arrive, monitor their breathing and circulation and stay with them until the medical professionals take over.
In conclusion, anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can happen to anyone, at any time, anywhere. Knowing how to recognise the symptoms and administering first aid treatment, including the use of an EpiPen, can be lifesaving. Make sure to educate yourself and others on anaphylaxis to prevent a medical emergency from becoming a tragedy.
Please follow the link below to see how to use an EpiPen
Please follow the link below to see how to use a Jext Pen