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Information About Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis symptoms
Angioedema Pathophysiology
Angioedema Therapy
Anaphylaxis is a severe and rapid systemic allergic reaction to a trigger substance, called an allergen. Minute amounts of trigger substances may cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis may occur after ingestion, inhalation, skin contact or injection of a trigger substance. The most severe type of anaphylaxis - anaphylactic shock - will usually result in death if untreated.

Immediate action

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening medical emergency because of rapid constriction of the airway, often within minutes of onset. Calling for help immediately can save precious minutes. First aid for anaphylactic shock consists of obtaining advanced medical care at once; rescue breathing (a skill which is part of CPR) is likely to be ineffective but should be attempted if the victim stops breathing. The patient may have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis in the past, and could be carrying an Epi-pen (or similar device) that could be available for immediate administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) by a layperson. Repetitive administration is only dangerous when done in rapid succession. Pulse rates in double-administration cases have been known to cause tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and occasionally ventricular tachycardia with heart rates up to 240 beats per minute. Nevertheless, if epinephrine prevents worsening of the airway constriction, it may still be life-saving.

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