Allergic Reactions and Anaphylaxis

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Allergic Reactions and Anaphylaxis: First Aid Guide

Understanding Allergic Reactions

Minor allergic reactions are typically non-life-threatening and can include local reactions to stings or mild food sensitivities that do not affect breathing.

Treatments may involve antihistamine creams or remedies for stomach upset symptoms.

Anaphylaxis: A Severe Allergic Reaction

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be triggered by allergens such as bee stings, certain foods (e.g., peanuts), or medications.

The reaction can cause rapid swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, and a red, flushed face, requiring immediate medical attention.

Response to Anaphylaxis

  • If an anaphylactic reaction occurs, immediately call emergency services (999 in the UK).
  • Administer an auto-injector containing adrenaline if the patient has one.
  • Sit the patient down if feeling nauseous, or lay them down if dizzy, to assist with auto-injection.

Using Auto-Injectors

Types of Auto-Injectors

There are three main types of auto-injectors available:

  • Jext: Remove cap, place against thigh, push to inject, hold for 10 seconds, then rub injection site.
  • EpiPen: Remove cap, swing and press against thigh, hold for 3 seconds; no need to rub.
  • Emerade: Remove cap, place on thigh, push to inject, hold for 5 seconds, then rub injection site.

Ensure used auto-injectors are given to paramedics for proper disposal and follow-up care.

Second Injection Consideration

If symptoms persist or worsen after the first dose, a second auto-injector may be necessary under medical guidance.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage and respond to allergic reactions and anaphylaxis emergencies.