Anaphylaxis

INFORMATION NOTES

A pamphlet for your information On Allergic Reactions.

ANAPHYLAXIS is a term that describes acute, severe, life threatening allergic reactions after exposure to a food, drug, or other substance. This is a major medical emergency that affects the whole body, and it must be treated immediately.

This type of severe allergic reaction occurs after a person has ingested or been exposed to a food or substance to which he/she was previously sensitized.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

These can range from § itching skin

§ coughing

§ shortness of breath

§ hives

§ swelling of the lips

§ abdominal pain

§ low blood pressure

§ convulsions

§ loss of consciousness

The major target organs to be affected include the respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, skin , and gastrointestinal system. The skin may start to flush and burn, there can be hoarseness in the voice, eye symptoms such as watering, itching and swelling, and there could be nasal congestion. As well, some tightness in the chest with pain and the feeling of having to urinate may take place.

It is important to know these signs, since failure to realize that a reaction is taking place could be fatal. There is no specific test for anaphylaxis, but the condition is usually diagnosed on the patient’s history and physical examination.

CAUSES:

  • foods such as peanut (remember this is from the legume family so other foods in that     family should also be suspect) nuts, shellfish, fish, eggs, and other foods.
  • medications including penicillin and related or unrelated antibiotics, may produce allergic   reactions.
  • insect sting venom
  • less common causes are latex rubber in surgical gloves and enema devices
  • some over the counter medications including ASA, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,     X-ray dyes, and laxatives.
  • exercise and cold air may also cause anaphylaxis

The best treatment is avoidance and this means protecting yourself at all times and always read all labels on foods and medications.

WEAR A MEDIC ALERT BRACELET AT ALL TIMES. BE SURE IT DESCRIBES YOUR ALLERGY AND THERE IS A COMPLETE LIST OF THE FOODS AND MEDICATIONS YOU MUST AVOID.

GET INFORMATION FROM YOUR DOCTOR AND YOUR PHARMACIST BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATION AND PRIOR TO UNDERGOING ANESTHESIA.

READ ALL FOOD LABELS CAREFULLY AND DETERMINE THE INGREDIENTS.

WHEN EATING OUT, SCRUTINIZE THE MENU, ASK THE CHEF ABOUT INGREDIENTS USED, AVOID ANY FOODS THAT ARE SUSPECT.

CARRY WITH YOU AN EMERGENCY CARE KIT SO THAT YOU CAN SELF-ADMINISTER EPINEPHRINE, AVAILABLE ON PRESCRIPTION.

REMEMBER THAT THE SEVERITY OF ANY GIVE ANAPHYLACTIC REACTION IS UNPREDICTABLE AND EACH REACTION MUST BE TREATED AS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY UNTIL THE PATIENT IS STABILIZED.

Information notes is for information

purposes only. It is not meant to replace

medical diagnosis or information.

It is important to consult with your

physician on any health matter.

News & Announcements
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    Food Allergy Symposium is Saturday, October 29, 2016 is taking place at the Westin Prince Hotel.

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