First Aid Facts – Anaphylaxis

Babies and children can develop allergies at any time, allergies can be managed with the help of your GP. Anaphylaxis is a SEVERE allergic reaction- Cornwall Resus offer advice on how to deal with this emergency situation.

Babies and children can develop allergies at any time, allergies can be managed with the help of your GP. Anaphylaxis is a SEVERE allergic reaction- Cornwall Resus offer advice on how to deal with this emergency situation.
Anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fil-ax-is) is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction affecting more than one body system such as the airways, heart, circulation, gut and skin. Symptoms can start within seconds or minutes of exposure to the food or substance you are allergic to and usually will progress rapidly. On rare occasions there may be a delay in the onset of a few hours.

The common causes of anaphylaxis include foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, sesame seeds and kiwi fruit, although many other foods have been known to trigger anaphylaxis.  Non-food causes include wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), and certain drugs such as penicillin.

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

  • Problems with Airway- Persistent cough, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, swollen tongue.
  • Problems with Breathing – Difficult or noisy breathing, wheeze or persistent cough.
  • Problems with Circulation- Persistent dizziness/pale or floppy suddenly sleepy, collapse, unconscious. There may also be a dramatic fall in blood pressure (anaphylactic shock). The person may become weak and floppy.

In addition to those severe symptoms listed above, there may also be:

Widespread flushing of the skin Nettle rash (otherwise known as hives or urticaria); Swelling of the skin (known as angioedema) anywhere on the body.; Swelling of the lips; Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

First Aid for Anaphylaxis:

  • Stay with the child and lay them flat on their back with their legs elevated. If breathing is difficult for them then sit them up.
  • Dial 999 for an ambulance* and say ANAPHYLAXIS (“ANA-FIL-AX-IS”)
  • Give the child their auto injector pen if they have had one prescribed by their doctor. Follow instructions on the pen. If they do not have an auto injector monitor the child’s breathing and reassure them.
  • Commence CPR if there are no signs of life. *You can dial 999 from any phone, even if there is no credit left on a mobile.

Medical observations in hospital is recommended after anaphylaxis.

For more information about allergies and anaphylaxis visit www.anaphylaxis.org.uk

To learn how to do CPR for a baby or child and for more information about childhood illness, serious illness and life saving training contact Cornwall Resus. Life Saving Training and Event First Aid, Baby and Child First Aid Courses, call  07503834185 for more information.

 

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