What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis?

By Adem Lewis / in , , /

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening
allergic reaction. Fortunately, it’s rare, but it’s really important that the signs and
symptoms are picked up rapidly because prompt treatment can make a real difference in terms
of outcomes. The classic symptoms particularly in children with food allergy would first
be itchiness, hives, swelling typically focused around the mouth, but quickly you can see
developments of symptoms in other systems. So for example runny nose and sneezing or
more worrying signs which would involve either the respiratory system including coughing,
bronchospasms, so wheeze or symptoms that involve the circulation. So, a drop in blood
pressure which would usually manifest itself as dizziness, confusion and collapse. If there’s
any suggestion of anaphylaxis, patients are always advised to as quickly as possible get
administration of intramuscular adrenaline. So many patients who suffer will be carrying
adrenaline injectors such as EpiPen or Jext or Emerade, and they’re encouraged to use
them as quickly as possible in order to get the best results. I always advise them if
they’re not sure if the symptoms are severe enough to warrant using the adrenaline, they
should just use it and if there’s two of them around while somebody gets help they get on
and give themselves the injection, but if it’s just them on their own, they do the injection
first and call for help second.

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