Anaphylaxis: Learning the Signs in Order to React Quickly

Health & Medical Blog

Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Signs of anaphylaxis include shortness of breath, the appearance of hives or a rash, a weak pulse, vomiting or stomach upset. If any of these signs are present, you need to react quickly and contact emergency services for the person suffering. Common allergens that cause anaphylaxis in allergic individuals include peanuts and bee venom, but this reaction can occur from anything a person is systemically allergic to. While a dose or two of epinephrine can help reverse this reaction, emergency medical care is also necessary to make sure the reaction has truly been halted.

Shortness of Breath Can Occur Almost Immediately

How quickly a person reacts to an allergen can range from seconds to minutes, and the severity of the reaction can vary widely. Shortness of breath occurs when the allergic person is exposed to an allergen, and the chemicals released by the body cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. The airways can become narrow quickly, making it difficult for the allergic person to breath normally. When shortness of breath occurs, this is life-threatening and epinephrine must be given immediately. If you do not have access to an EpiPen for the individual, you must call 911 right away.

Hives Develop on the Body

An allergic reaction that might lead to anaphylaxis can begin with a rash or hives developing anywhere on the body. While this reaction may not go any further than hives, it's important to understand that hives are a sign that the body is reacting negatively to an allergen. If hives are present, but the person is behaving normal otherwise, careful observation is in order. People with systemic allergies are prone to hives when they encounter an allergen, regardless of how serious their reaction becomes.

The Person Complains of Nausea or Begins Vomiting

Allergens are toxic to the person experiencing the reaction, and an overall feeling of sickness can occur. When hives are present and vomiting starts, this clearly indicates that the allergic reaction is progressing to a more dangerous level. If this is a new reaction for your child, seek immediate medical attention before their reaction becomes more severe. While it's possible to wait and observe an adult person who is vomiting from an allergic reaction, it's not safe to wait and see when it's a child who has not experienced these symptoms before.

Pale Skin and Weak Pulse

With a weak pulse and pale skin, this clearly indicates a lack of oxygen to the body. This is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately or it can be life-threatening.

If you have any questions about allergies or what to do in the event of a reaction, consider contacting a specialist, such as Bouboulis Denis A, to discuss your concerns.


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