Getting the right treatment in an allergy
emergency can be the difference between life and death. An expert panel weighed in on these
emergencies. I’m Shelby Cullinan with your latest health news. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and
Immunology (ACAAI) issued some new guidelines this month on epinephrine use for severe allergic
reactions, including anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life-threatening emergency that
can occur within seconds of exposure to an allergen, such as a peanut or a bee sting.
According to the new guidelines, epinephrine should be the first treatment choice in an
emergency situation. The ACAII recommends doctors use epinephrine first before using
antihistamines or corticosteroids to treat an allergy emergency. Epinephrine should also
be used if the patient is at risk for anaphylaxis. An at-risk patient is one with a history of
the condition. Doctors should also prescribe epinephrine injectors — sometimes known
as EpiPens — to patients at risk of anaphylaxis before discharge from the emergency room.