Anaphylaxis is a very serious complication resulting from someone’s exposure to an allergen. The most important thing to remember is remain calm and call 911. But a little extra knowledge can’t hurt either.
What is it then?
Your body is in constant contact with foreign substances and produces antibodies as a defence, which your body normally ignores. Anaphylaxis is the body over-reacting to those antibodies. Most common allergens include medications, insect stings, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and milk.
Anaphylaxis is a condition resulting from the introduction of an allergen, typically venom, food or medication. It causes a series of symptoms, including rash, low pulse and shock, known as anaphylactic shock. If this isn’t treated immediately, it can often be fatal depending on the severity of the reaction.
How bad is it?
It’s not great. Anaphylaxis untreated can easily result in death. And once it begins, the sufferer is likely to become confused, weak and have difficulty breathing; you may not get any information or help from them at all.
Can I prevent it?
Well, if you can keep track of every potential allergen that causes anaphylaxis, then yeah! Otherwise the best thing you can do is be aware of your own allergies and how severe they are. Also making a point to know who around you suffers from severe allergies is an excellent first point of information. It can mean the difference between “hey bob, you ok?” and “bob’s allergic to peanuts, where’s his Epipen?” Seconds can make all the difference.
What if it happens to me?
Call 911. No fancy advice here, call immediately. Oh, you have an Epipen? Call 911 anyway, this is no time for anything except professionals.
First Aid courses all have a component on how to administer an Epipen, so if severe allergies are a part of your life getting yourself certified is the best idea. If no Epipen is present, lay the person on their back and raise their feet a foot or so and cover them with a blanket. Do not leave this person, watch for breathing and be alert and aware of any change in their situation. This is the part a First Aid course will help the most with, knowing what to do and when.
Will I be okay?
Absolutely. If you are concerned, take a First Aid Course, you may have noticed that theme throughout the article. It was not an accident.
As always; better to get a professional opinion! And here's a link!