10 top tips for recognising and treating Anaphylaxis

James Briggs (Clinical Trainer) gives us his 10 top tips for recognising and treating Anaphylaxis!

  • 1. Anaphylaxis is characterised by rapidly developing life threatening changes to the airway and/or breathing and/or circulation. 80% of the time there will be skin and/or mucosal changes present
  • 2. Remember that generally, Anaphylaxis is a fast happening reaction. The earlier you recognise and treat it, the better the outcome
  • 3. Always call an ambulance for a patient with Anaphylaxis. You may treat it successfully but it is a biphasic reaction, meaning the symptoms could return several hours later.
  • 4. If you suspect a patient is having an Anaphylactic reaction always give them Adrenaline
  • 5. Using the ABCDE approach will help you to recognise and treat Anaphylaxis
  • 6. Always be prepared to give the Anaphylaxis patient a second dose of Adrenaline 5 minutes after your first dose if there is no improvement in their symptoms.
  • 7. Remember that Anaphylaxis can be caused by a wide variety of things. A patient may have ingested something (nuts/shellfish), been stung by something (bees/wasps) or come into contact with something (latex)
  • 8. The best site to administer Adrenaline is intramuscularly at the mid-point of the patients’ outer thigh
  • 9. Remember to check for any potential obstructions (wallet, phone) that the patient may have in their pocket and remove them before administering Adrenaline into their thigh.
  • 10. If using an auto-injector to administer Adrenaline to the patient NEVER put your thumb over the end of it! Last year 9 health care professionals injected themselves whilst trying to treat a patient with Anaphylaxis

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Written by, James Briggs 26th November 2018