Anaphylaxis is a dramatic and widespread acute atopic reaction marked by the sudden onset of rapidly progressive urticaria and respiratory distress. A severe anaphylactic reaction may precipitate vascular collapse, leading to systemic shock and, sometimes, death.
Many things can cause anaphylaxis. Some common causes include the following:
Signs and symptoms
An anaphylactic reaction produces sudden physical distress within seconds or minutes after exposure to an allergen. They may include the following:
Anaphylaxis can be diagnosed by the rapid onset of severe respiratory or cardiovascular symptoms after ingestion or injection of a drug, vaccine, diagnostic agent, food, or food additive or after an insect sting. If these symptoms occur without a known allergic stimulus, rule out other possible causes of shock (such as acute myocardial infarction, status asthmaticus, and heart failure).
Acute anaphylaxis must be treated as a medical emergency with stabilisation of airway, breathing and circulation. Intramuscular adrenaline must be given immediately to patients with signs of shock, airway swelling, or definite difficulty in breathing. This is followed by treatment with an antihistamine, corticosteroid and perhaps other drugs.
Adrenaline may not be necessary for skin manifestations of anaphylaxis. Treatment with antihistamines may be all that is required.
Prevention is the best medicine for anaphylaxis . Follow these steps to help ensure your well-being:-
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