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Anaphylaxis Emergency – Are you prepared?

Anaphylaxis Emergency – Are you prepared?

We’ve all heard of anaphylaxis but do you know the symptoms or how to administer care to those suffering?

We should all be aware of the potentially life threatening reactions that can occur and prepared to act in case of an emergency. Time is critical and your actions might be the difference between saving a life and a fatality.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of an allergic reaction that if not treated immediately, can quickly become life-threatening. Usually occurring within 20 minutes to two hours from exposure to an allergen, anaphylaxis requires urgent medical attention. Often affecting more than one body system, it can cause many life threatening symptoms without preventative measures in place.

How should you prepare yourself best?

1. Understand triggers
An anaphylaxis emergency can be triggered by a range of allergens, these vary from person to person including food, stings, medication, even bites and other (latex, exercise or non-identifiable causes). Some reactions can even be triggered by just the smell of the allergen.

Some common allergens include:
Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy are the most common food triggers, which cause 90 percent of allergic reactions; however, any food can trigger anaphylaxis. It is important to understand that in some people even very small amounts of food can cause a life-threatening reaction.

If you or someone you know suffers from any type of anaphylactic reaction, you must remove that allergen, this is critical.

2. Understand symptoms
Once again, symptoms are different from person to person however, it’s vital that symptoms are discussed and understood. Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Skin reactions (hives, itching, rashes, flushed or pale skin)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing caused by a constriction of airways (swollen tongue or throat)
  • A weak or rapid pulse
  • Nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Dizziness, fainting or unconsciousness
  • Wheezing or a persistent cough

3. Treating anaphylaxis
Those who suffer from anaphylaxis should always carry an EpiPen in case of a life threatening emergency and be aware of their triggers and symptoms. For those that encounter someone experiencing an anaphylactic emergency, it’s essential that only trained personnel approach the situation and assist.

Rich River First Aid understands the importance of this education and training, offering various courses that help to address these complex and life threatening situations. If you want to learn more about anaphylaxis or learn accredited training, click here.