Education - Advocacy - Support
*Please note: Not all reactions will have a visible sign. For example, a person can suffer from respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) issues with anaphylaxis which may not manifest with a skin issue.
"Anaphylaxis symptoms develop quickly, often within seconds or minutes. They may include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
- Chest discomfort or tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Hives, itchiness
- Nasal congestion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin redness
- Slurred speech
- Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Low blood pressure
- Mental confusion
- Rapid pulse
- Skin that is blue from lack of oxygen or pale from shock
- Swelling (angioedema) in the throat that may be severe enough to block the airway
- Swelling of the eyes or face
Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition that needs professional medical attention right away. Call 911 immediately.
Check the person's airway, breathing, and circulation (the ABC's of Basic Life Support). A warning sign of dangerous throat swelling is a very hoarse or whispered voice, or coarse sounds when the person is breathing in air. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
- Call 911.
- Calm and reassure the person.
- If the allergic reaction is from a bee sting, scrape the stinger off the skin with something firm (such as a fingernail or plastic credit card). Do not use tweezers -- squeezing the stinger will release more venom.
- If the person has emergency allergy medicine on hand, help the person take or inject the medication. Avoid oral medication if the person is having difficulty breathing.
- Take steps to prevent shock. Have the person lie flat, raise the person's feet about 12 inches, and cover him or her with a coat or blanket. Do NOT place the person in this position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected, or if it causes discomfort.
- Do NOT assume that any allergy shots the person has already received will provide complete protection.
- Do NOT place a pillow under the person's head if he or she is having trouble breathing. This can block the airways.
- Do NOT give the person anything by mouth if the person is having trouble breathing.
The person may receive antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, and corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to further reduce symptoms (after lifesaving measures and epinephrine are given)."
Source: Medline Plus
All photos submitted are with written permission and consent from the parent in an effort to teach others about life threatening anaphylactic reactions.
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