The human body was designed with a built in defense system for protection from harmful pathogens. The immune system is a network of tissues and organs that sense pathogens and then notify other parts of the system to eliminate the threat. It is literally saving your life every day. However, our immune systems can attack what would otherwise be non-harmful substances, which produces an allergic reaction.
Most reactions are mild, causing symptoms such as itching, congestion, rash and watery eyes. But, a life threatening reaction, or anaphylaxis, can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, shock, trouble breathing, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and fainting. Severe anaphylaxis can begin within seconds of exposure and can lead to death within 30 minutes.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, emergency room visits for anaphylaxis increased by 101% between 2005 and 2014. Given these statistics and the small time frame in which to treat, it’s imperative to know how to assist a person suffering from anaphylaxis.
What to do:
- Call 911 – Don’t wait, time is of the essence.
- Check for an epinephrine autoinjector and ask the victim if they would like you to administer the medication.
- Lay the victim flat on their back and cover them to keep warm and calm.
- Roll the victim onto their side if vomiting.
- Begin CPR if the person is not breathing.
- Do not offer a drink or oral medications, if the victim is experiencing difficulty breathing.
Have questions? Give us a call or schedule a First Aid class by following this link, https://inaheartbeatllc.com/class-schedule/.