ANAPHYLAXIS - Watsons Health

ANAPHYLAXIS

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. It can be fatal and occurs within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as peanuts or bee stings.

During Anaphylaxis, your immune system releases a flood of chemicals that can cause you to go into shock — your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking breathing.  Signs and symptoms of this may include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, nausea and vomiting. certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex may trigger this reaction.

In that case, a person under Anaphylaxis requires an injection of Epinephrine and must be sent to the emergency room immediately. It can be fatal if it is not treated right away.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis usually occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen. In other cases, it can occur a half-hour or longer after exposure.

Signs and symptoms of Anaphylaxis may include:

  • Skin Reactions, Including Hives and Itching and Flushed or Pale Skin
  • Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
  • Constriction of Your Airways and a Swollen Tongue or Throat, Which Can Cause Wheezing and Trouble Breathing
  • A Weak and Rapid Pulse
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or Fainting

DIAGNOSIS

First, your doctor will ask if you had previous allergic reactions, including whether you’ve reacted to:

  • Particular Foods
  • Medications
  • Latex
  • Insect Stings

To help confirm the diagnosis:

  • You might be given a blood test to measure the amount of a certain enzyme (tryptase) that can be elevated up to three hours after anaphylaxis
  • You might be tested for allergies with skin tests or blood tests to help determine your trigger

Your doctor will want to rule out symptoms and signs of other conditions similar to Anaphylaxia.  

 

TREATMENT

  • Emergency response- If you’re with someone who’s having an allergic reaction and shows signs of shock, act fast and do the following immediately:
    • Call emergency medical help
    • Use an epinephrine auto injector, if available, by pressing it into the person’s thigh.
    • Make sure the person is lying down and elevate his or her legs.
    • Check the person’s pulse and breathing and, if necessary, administer CPR or other first-aid measures.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)– If the heart stops beating or the person stops breathing during an anaphylactic attack, He/she may be given a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Medications-A person may need the following medication.
    • Epinephrine (adrenaline) to reduce your body’s allergic response
    • Oxygen, to help you breathe
    • Intravenous (IV) antihistamines and cortisone to reduce inflammation of your air passages and improve breathing
    • A beta-agonist (such as albuterol) to relieve breathing symptoms
  • Autoinjector– An autoinjector is a device which combines syringe and concealed needle. It is use to inject a singke dose of medication when pressed against the thigh. Using an autoinjector immediately can keep anaphylaxis from worsening and could save your life.
  • Prevention and Readiness- In most other cases there’s no way to treat the underlying immune system condition that can lead to anaphylaxis. But you can take steps to prevent a future attack — and be prepared if one occurs.
    • Try to avoid your allergy triggers.
    • Carry self-administered epinephrine. During an anaphylactic attack, you can give yourself the drug using an auto injector (EpiPen, others).

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