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
- abdominal pain or vomiting
First aid for anaphylaxis
- Lay person flat and keep them still – don't let them stand or walk.
- If unconscious, place them in the recovery position.
- If breathing is difficult allow them to sit.
- Give adrenaline autoinjector.
- Phone ambulance on triple zero (000).
- Further adrenaline doses may be given if no response after 5 minutes.
- 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.
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Last reviewed: June 2018