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Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.

Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.
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Anaphylaxis

2-minute read

Cases of severe allergic reactions to triggers, for example food or bites and stings, can lead to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is very serious and can be fatal.

If you think someone is having an allergic reaction, call triple zero (000).

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • difficult or noisy breathing
  • difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • a swollen tongue
  • persistent dizziness or collapse
  • swelling or tightness in the throat
  • pale and floppy (young children)
  • wheeze or persistent cough

First aid for anaphylaxis

  1. Lay person flat and keep them still – don't let them stand or walk.
  2. If unconscious, place them in the recovery position.
  3. If breathing is difficult allow them to sit.
  4. Give adrenaline autoinjector.
  5. Phone ambulance on triple zero (000).
  6. Further adrenaline doses may be given if no response after 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer person to hospital for at least 4 hours of observation.

If the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally, start CPR.

If you aren't sure – always give the adrenaline autoinjector. If the person also has asthma, give the adrenaline autoinjector first and then asthma reliever puffer.

For more information on anaphylaxis, including setting up a personal action plan, go to www.allergy.org.au.

People with diagnosed allergies should avoid all triggers and confirmed allergens and have a readily accessible anaphylaxis action plan and medical alert device. It’s wise to ensure your friends and family know how to follow your anaphylaxis action plan too in case you need help.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about anaphylaxis.

Last reviewed: June 2018

Recommended links

Need more information?

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EpiPen Auto-Injector Solution for injection - myDr.com.au

EpiPen Auto-Injector Solution for injection - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

Adrenaline auto-injectors

The most effective first aid treatment for anaphylaxis is adrenaline given using an auto injector (such as an EpiPen) into the outer mid-thigh muscle.

Read more on WA Health website

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening.

Read more on WA Health website

Anaphylaxis | myVMC

Anaphylaxis is a sudden severe allergic reaction which needs emergency medical treatment. Without treatment, swelling can prevent breathing and cause death.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Anaphylaxis in children and teenagers | Raising Children Network

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. It needs urgent medical attention. Children at risk of anaphylaxis must avoid allergens and have an action plan.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

How to give Epipen - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

HOW TO GIVE EPIPEN

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

Adrenaline for severe allergies - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Adrenaline (epinephrine) is a natural hormone released in response to stress. When injected, adrenaline rapidly reverses the effects of anaphylaxis by reducing throat swelling, opening the airways, and maintaining heart function and blood pressure. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life threatening, severe allergic reaction and should always be treated as a medical emergency. Adrenaline injected into the outer mid-thigh muscle is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis.

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

Kids' Health - Topics - Anaphylaxis - when an allergy can be really dangerous

Have you ever had an allergy (say al-er-gee) to something? Did your body show that you had come into contact with something that it didn't like?

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Managing your childs anaphylaxis at school or child care

Your childs school and child care provider need to work with both you and your child to minimise his or her exposure to known allergens

Read more on WA Health website

Allergic reactions to bites and stings - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Most insect bites and stings result in a localised itch and swelling that settles within a few days. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to insects are usually due to bees, wasps or the Australian Jack Jumper ant. Insect bites are a less common cause of anaphylaxis than insect stings. Fortunately, effective treatments are available to treat allergic reactions to bites and stings.

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

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