A Look at Anaphylaxis Shock
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that
comes on rapidly and can be life-threatening if treatment does not begin
immediately. The condition is classified as a medical emergency because the
patient can go into shock. Throat swelling, an itchy rash and low blood pressure
are among the possible symptoms.
Anaphylaxis may be triggered by allergens such as foods. Peanut allergy, for
example, is a common cause. Certain medications can trigger the reaction. Insect
bites and stings are other common causes.
The unpredictability is one reason it is so dangerous. Most people who have the
reaction have a history of allergies but not all victims are known allergy
sufferers. In some cases, the person has only had mild allergic reactions in the
past. Being unaware that something can bring on this reaction means that the
first reaction is often fatal. People who suffer from severe allergies are more
likely to be prepared.
Immediate medical attention and intervention is needed for managing anaphylactic
reactions. As soon as the symptoms are noticed, the patient should be brought to
a healthcare facility where there is equipment and medications to begin
treatment. If you are not near a medical center, call 911. Emergency medical
technicians should have the equipment and medications needed to treat
In some cases, allergy sufferers are advised to keep specific medications on
hand. An Epi-pen is an example of a treatment that some allergy sufferers keep
on hand, especially when there has been a history of anaphylactic reaction.
Patients and their
families need be educated on how to recognize the symptoms quickly. The faster
treatment begins, the better the patient’s chances for a complete recovery.
Standard emergency interventions for anaphylaxis include high-flow oxygen,
cardiac monitoring and intravenous fluids. High-flow oxygen addresses the issue
of the tightened airways, a part of the anaphylactic reaction. The oxygen
reduces the risk that the patient will stop breathing.
Cardiac monitoring ensures that the heartbeat and pulse rate remain normal.
Changes in blood pressure, heartbeat or pulse may be early indicators of shock.
Shock may be prevented if prompt action is taken.
Intravenous or IV fluids help to further reduce the risk of shock by replacing
fluids and electrolytes. Medications may also be delivered intravenously.
IV-delivered medications are more effective and take less time to work.
The standard interventions should begin while symptoms are mild. They can even
begin before symptoms appear in the case of an allergy sufferer who knows
exposure to an allergen has occurred. Basic life support may be necessary if
symptoms become severe before reaching the medical center. Reacting quickly is
the key to surviving an anaphylactic reaction.
Wishing you the best of health