Allergic Reactions - Anaphylaxis

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Understanding Anaphylaxis: A Guide

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. This guide provides an overview of what triggers anaphylaxis, symptoms to watch for, and essential steps for emergency response.

What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is an extreme, potentially fatal allergic reaction. It occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to an allergen, leading to a rapid systemic response.

Common Causes of Anaphylaxis

Common allergens include foods like peanuts and dairy products, as well as insect stings such as bee stings. Exposure to these allergens can trigger severe reactions in susceptible individuals.

Recognising Anaphylactic Symptoms

It is crucial to recognise the signs of anaphylaxis early to ensure prompt treatment. Symptoms may include:

  • Itchy skin and red rashes
  • Swelling on the face and body
  • Breathing difficulties, leading to potential collapse and loss of consciousness

Emergency Response: What to Do

If you suspect someone is having an anaphylactic reaction, act immediately by calling an ambulance.

Using an Auto-injector

Individuals with severe allergies should carry an auto-injector, such as an EpiPen or Jext, which can administer a life-saving dose of adrenaline.

How to Use an EpiPen

  1. Remove the safety cap.
  2. Press the device firmly against the thigh and hold for three seconds.
  3. Remove and massage the injection site briefly to aid absorption.

How to Use a Jext Auto-injector

  1. Remove the yellow cap.
  2. Place the black end against the thigh, press and hold for a count of 10.
  3. Withdraw the device and rub the area for 10 seconds.

Some individuals may be able to self-administer the auto-injector, while others might require assistance. It is advisable to carry two auto-injectors as a precautionary measure.

Aftercare Following Anaphylaxis

Even after administering an auto-injector, it is vital to ensure that medical help is on the way. Time is critical in managing anaphylaxis effectively.

Always consult a medical professional for more detailed information and guidance on managing allergies and anaphylaxis.