Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and Allergic Reactions - FAQ
The following ASCIA Action Plans (personal) include text fields to type in patient details:
ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (personal) for use with EpiPen
ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (personal) for use with Anapen
ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (personal) for use when no adrenaline autoinjector has been prescribed
The following ASCIA Action Plans (general) can be used as posters or in first aid kits:
Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (general) for use with EpiPen
ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (general) for use with Anapen
1. ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis can be used for individuals with food and insect allergies (ASCIA Action Plans specific for Insect Allergy were discontinued in March 2011).
2. ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis include instructions on how to use an adrenaline autoinjector and should always be stored with the device.
3. Adrenaline autoinjectors contain a fixed dose of adrenaline and are designed to be used by anyone (medical training is not required), including friends, teacher, childcare worker, parents or patients (if they are old and well enough).
The following are the most frequently asked questions and answers (FAQ) regarding the ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and Allergic Reactions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers
Q 1: How many types of ASCIA Action Plans are there?
There are two types of ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis (General and Personal) and two versions for each of these, specific to the adrenaline autoinjector brand (EpiPen or Anapen). The General versions (orange) do not contain any personal information and can be used as a poster. The Personal versions (red) include personal information for the individual with prescribed adrenaline autoinjector/s, such as medically confirmed severe allergies.
There is also an ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (green) which includes personal information of the individual with medically confirmed mild or moderate allergies, who needs to avoid certain allergens, but does not have an adrenaline autoinjector.
ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and Allergic Reactions have text fields that can be directly typed into. To save ASCIA Action Plans that have patient details typed into the text fields you need to "save as" and save to document with a new name (e,g including the patient name).They can then be printed directly from the ASCIA website or the file that they have been saved to.
Q 2: How have the revised ASCIA Action Plans (2013) changed from the previous (2011) version?
The following are the main amendments that have been made in the 2013 versions:
- Inclusion of the wording "Mild to moderate allergic reactions may or may not precede anaphylaxis" and removal of the arrow.
- Updated information about adrenaline autoinjectors, including revised names and a link to the instructional videos on the ASCIA website.
- Information on when to commence CPR after giving adrenaline.
- What to do if you are unsure if it is asthma or anaphylaxis.
- The ability for doctors to complete the Action Plan online and save it as a pdf.
- Space to include a larger patient photo on the personal (red or green) versions.
- A note that states "This is a medical document that can only be completed and signed by the patient's treating doctor and cannot be altered without their permission."
Q 3: Can the older versions (2008, 2009) of ASCIA Action Plans still be used?
No. These previous versions of ASCIA Action Plans should no longer be used, particularly the EpiPen versions, as the appearance of that device has changed. ASCIA Action Plans should be renewed when patients are reassessed by their doctor, and each time they obtain a new adrenaline autoinjector prescription, whch is approximately every 12 to 18 months. If the patient is a child, the photo should be updated each time, so they can be easily identified.
Q 4: Can schools or parents complete an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (personal) or ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions for their students or children?
No. ASCIA Action Plans have been developed as medical documents and must be completed, signed and dated by the patient's medical doctor. If copies are required then the original signed copy should be photocopied or scanned.
Q 5: Is it possible to obtain an electronic copy of the ASCIA Action Plans so that the child's information can be inserted by parents or school/childcare staff?
No. ASCIA Action Plans have been developed in a PDF format to ensure the documents are concise, consistent and easily understood. They now have fields that can be directly typed into by the treating doctor, but not by parents, or school/childcare staff, as they are medical documents.
Q 6: How often does an ASCIA Action Plan need to be updated?
ASCIA Action Plans should be reviewed when patients are reassessed by their doctor, and each time they obtain a new adrenaline autoinjector prescription, which is approximately every 12 to 18 months. If there are no changes in diagnosis or management the medical information on the ASCIA Action Plan may not need to be updated. However, if the patient is a child, the photo should be updated each time, so they can be easily identified.
Q 7: The ASCIA Action Plans on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au are copyrighted. Can we still print them out and make copies?
Yes. ASCIA Action Plans can be printed off the website and/or photocopied without infringement of the copyright. ASCIA recommends that the Action Plans are printed in colour, if possible, as they are colour coded.
Q 8: Who has the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis been designed for?
ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis have been designed for first aid treatment of anaphylaxis, to be delivered by people without any special medical training nor equipment apart from access to an adrenaline autoinjector.
Q 9: Why does the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis state that CPR should only be given if there are no signs of life after giving adrenaline?
Adrenaline is life-saving and must be used promptly. Withholding or delaying the giving of adrenaline can result in deterioration and death of the patient. This is why giving the adrenaline autoinjector is a priority on the ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis, to prevent delays. If CPR is given before this step there is a possibility that adrenaline is delayed or not given. It is important to note that Oxygen will be administered to the patient by paramedics in the ambulance.
Q 10: Can an organisation obtain an adrenaline autoinjector for general use (not prescribed for an individual) and do they require an Action Plan for Anaphylaxis?
Adrenaline autoinjectors for general use can be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies. More information is available in the ASCIA document “Adrenaline Autoinjectors for General Use” which is available from the Anaphylaxis Resources section on the ASCIA website. The ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (general) has been developed for use as a poster or as an instruction guide to include with an adrenaline autoinjector for general use.
Q 11: Where can we go to obtain further resources?
Patient information and anaphylaxis training is available from ASCIA, the peak professional body for allergy and clinical immunology in Australia and New Zealand.:
Patient information and support is available from the follwoing national patient support groups for Australia and New Zealand:
Content Updated December 2012