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How to Treat Anaphylaxis?

Medical Treatment:
What to do
If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should:
  • If the person has one, use an adrenaline auto-injector: But first make sure you know how to use it properly
  • Dial ambulance immediately (even if they feel better): Mention that you think the person has anaphylaxis
  • If possible, remove any trigger: for example, remove any wasp or bee sting stuck in the skin carefully
  • Lie the person down flat: Unless they are unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties
  • Give another injection after 5-15 minutes: If the symptoms do not improve and a second auto-injector is available
Adrenaline auto-injectors
  • People with potentially severe allergies are often prescribed to carry auto-injectors of adrenaline at all times, which can help stop a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.
  • They should be used as soon as the person experiencing anaphylaxis or someone helping them is suspected of having a serious reaction.
  • Make sure that you are aware of how to properly use your auto-injector type.
  • There are three main types of adrenaline auto-injector, which are used in slightly different ways. These are:
    • EpiPen
    • Jext
    • Emerade
Positioning and resuscitation
Anyone with anaphylaxis should be in a comfortable position.
  • Most people should lie flat
  • Pregnant women should lie on their left side to avoid putting too much pressure on the large vein that leads to the heart
  • People having trouble breathing should sit up to help make breathing easier
  • People who are unconscious should be placed in the recovery position to ensure the airway remains open and clear - place them on their side, making sure they are supported by one leg and one arm, and open their airway by lifting their chin
  • Avoid a sudden change to an upright posture such as standing or sitting up-this can cause a dangerous fall in blood pressure
If the person breathing or heart stops, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be performed immediately.
In hospital
You will need to go to a hospital for observation - usually for 6-12 hours - as the symptoms can occasionally return during this period. While in hospital:
  • An oxygen mask may be used to help breathing
  • Fluids may be given directly into a vein to help increase blood pressure
  • Additional medications such as antihistamines and steroids may be used to help relieve symptoms
  • Blood tests may be carried out to confirm anaphylaxis