Anaphylaxis is an extremely dangerous, life threatening allergic reaction. The name ‘anaphylaxis’ means ‘without protection’. It is caused by an over-reaction of the body’s immune system.
Allergic reactions causing anaphylaxis are very rare, but if the reaction affects the airway and breathing, death can occur in minutes. Common allergies are to things such as peanuts, egg or milk products, insect stings, seafood and drugs.
Adrenaline (Epinephrine), delivered by an Epipen, is the first choice for anaphylaxis. It works best if it is given within the first few minutes of a severe allergic reaction.
Adrenaline rapidly treats all of the most dangerous symptoms of anaphylaxis, including throat swelling, difficulty breathing, and low blood pressure.
The video below will guide you through how to use your Epipen, but it is no substitute for hands on practice.
If you could suffer from anaphylaxis, there are some things you can do to keep away from harm:
- Know what triggers the allergy and avoid these at all times.
- Know how to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
- Have your treatment(s) available at all times and ensure they are in date.
- Understand how and when to correctly take your medicines.
- Practise with a trainer device.
- Make friends, family and colleagues aware of how to recognise the symptoms of anaphylaxis and how to administer your treatment(s).
If you would like to know more, why not book one of our first aid courses or get us in to deliver an Anaphylaxis Awareness and Epipen course