Antihistamine, I am sure you all have heard about, is used to counteract the bodies reaction to allergens as the body releases Histamine via the immune system to react to the allergen. It does not prevent Anaphylaxis occurring. The difference is that allergies can be life threatening but food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious an often limited to digestive problems. The body will react differently and some such mild reactions are hives or welts, swelling of the lips, eyes or face,tingling of the mouth, abdominal pain, vomiting or wheeze and severe reactions are, difficult or noisy breathing, swelling of the tongue, welling or tightness in the throat, difficulty talking and or hoarse voice,wheezing or persistent cough, dizziness or collapse, pale and floppy for young children abdominal pain and vomiting if the reaction is from an insect.
Anaphylaxis is the most severe life threatening form of allergic reaction which compromised the airways. Some people can have a severe allergic reaction which is horrible and horrendous, but not be life threatening. With Anaphylaxis symptoms can appear in just a few minutes after exposure but it can possibly also take up to two hours to develop. It affects multiple systems of the body such as the respiratory, cardiovascular, skin and gastrointestinal but these latter two are not in every case. Medical confirmation is always required for Anaphylaxis and should be accompanied with an ASCIA Action Plan filled out by there GP and updated reasonably regularly, it is suggested every 12 months -16 Months.
Peanuts are one of the highest risk allergens at this time in Australia and is the most common cause of deaths from foods. Food induced anaphylaxis rarely occurs unless the food is ingested, but still can happen. It is increasing especially in children and the rates have doubled over the last 10 years & is now at approximately 1 in 30 children & 1 in 200 Adults. Even micro amounts of peanut can cause a reaction in extremely sensitive people but not all with a peanut allergy will experience a sever reaction.
Bees, wasps, ants especially Jumper ants are our most serious animal culprits. Ticks are not as common as an allergen, the picture above shows fire ants & they have been known to cause anaphylaxis as they swarm and bite multiple time each injecting a large volume into the body. As far a medications go, pain killers & antibiotics seem to be the most common at this stage however others of causes could. Latex is another possibility I have heard of. It really depends on the person and how there body reacts to any allergen.
What to do!
Give the used adrenaline autoinjector to ambulance staff when they arrive.
If in doubt, give the adrenaline autoinjector.
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia have created these two wonderful & educational short animations that will show you exactly how to administer and EpiPen and what the signs & symptoms are.
I'm all about educating those who have completed a First Aid Course & those that haven't....... You can B-The one to make a difference so B-Ready!