How to position a person having anaphylaxis
The ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis includes the following infographics that show the correct and incorrect positioning of a person having anaphylaxis.
When a person has anaphylaxis their blood pressure can drop rapidly, which reduces blood flow to the heart. Laying the person flat will help blood flow to the heart which improves blood pressure, whilst standing can make anaphylaxis worse by causing blood pressure to drop.
Therefore a person having anaphylaxis should:
- Lay flat – do not allow them to stand or walk.
- If breathing is difficult – allow them to sit on the ground with legs outstretched
- If pregnant, unconscious or vomiting – lay them in the recovery position
They should NOT stand, walk, or be held upright, even if they appear to have recovered.
A new animation has been developed as part of the National Allergy Strategy, which explains:
- How to position a person having anaphylaxis, including when giving the adrenaline (epinephrine) injector.
- Why it is important that a person having anaphylaxis does not stand or walk.