Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction with a rapid onset that may cause death. It usually includes more than one of the following: shortness of breath, an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, vomiting, light-headedness, low blood pressure, among others. The symptoms usually come several minutes to several hours.

Common anaphylaxis causes include insect stings, different foods, and medications, latex exposure and even strenuous exercise.

If you find yourself close to someone who is experiencing anaphylaxis, you should:

• Call 911 immediately
• Make sure they can breathe
• Make sure their clothes is loose
• Lie a person on their back
• See if they have an adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injector and help them
• Try to calm a person
• Raise their feet 12 inches and put a blanket on them
• If a person is vomiting or bleeding move them to their side

The sooner the person gets their adrenaline, the better. Avoid giving a person anything to drink, or lifting their head, especially if they’re having trouble breathing.

  1. June 9, 2017

    If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you need an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant or carry a card with information about your allergy. If you’ve had an anaphylaxis reaction before, you should carry at least two doses of epinephrine with you at all times.

  2. June 19, 2017

    Yes, the medical alert bracelet is the best thing to know fast notice! Get immediate help if the person has these symptoms or a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) even if there are no symptoms:
    1. Seek emergency care
    2. Inject Epinephrine Immediately
    3. Do CPR if the Person Stops Breathing
    4. Follow Up

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The National Drug and Poison Information Center 1-800-222-1222

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