ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction and potentially life threatening. It should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment. Most cases of anaphylaxis occur after a person with a severe allergy is exposed to the allergen they are allergic to (usually a food, insect or medication).
SIGNS OF MILD TO MODERATE ALLERGIC REACTION
- Swelling of face, lips and eyes
- Hives or welts
- Tingling mouth
- Abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy)
ACTION FOR MILD TO MODERATE ALLERGIC REACTION
- For insect allergy - flick out sting if visible
- For tick allergy - freeze dry tick and allow to drop off
- Stay with person and call for help
- Locate adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector
- Phone family/emergency contact
Mild to moderate allergic reactions (such as hives or swelling) may not always
occur before anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
WATCH FOR ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SIGNS OF ANAPHYLAXIS
- Difficult/noisy breathing
- Swelling of tongue
- Swelling/tightness in throat
- Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
- Wheeze or persistent cough
- Persistent dizziness or collapse
- Pale and floppy (in young children)
ACTION FOR ANAPHYLAXIS (SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION)
1 Lay person flat
Do NOT allow them to stand or walk
If unconscious, place in recovery position
If breathing is difficult allow them to sit
2 Give adrenaline autoinjector
3 Phone ambulance - 000 (AU) or 111 (NZ)
4 Phone family/emergency contact
5 Further adrenaline doses may be given if no response after 5 minutes
6 Transfer person to hospital for at least 4 hours of observation
If in doubt give adrenaline autoinjector
Commence CPR at any time if person is unresponsive and not breathing normally
ALWAYS give adrenaline autoinjector FIRST, if someone has SEVERE AND SUDDEN BREATHING DIFFICULTY (including wheeze, persistent cough or hoarse voice), even if there are no skin symptoms. THEN SEEK MEDICAL HELP.
- If adrenaline is accidentally injected (e.g. into a thumb) phone your local poisons information centre.If adrenaline is accidentally injected (e.g. into a thumb) phone your local poisons information centre.
- Continue to follow this plan for the person with the allergic reaction.
© ASCIA 2020
For further information on anaphylaxis visit www.allergy.org.au - the web site of ASCIA.
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.