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Do you know how to recognise anaphylactic shock and how to help?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that affects the breathing and blood pressure of the casualty – and is therefore a life threatening condition. It can develop very quickly in people who are susceptible to it.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Red, blotchy skin
  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling – initially localised (tongue and mouth) and then more widespread (throat and under the arms)
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Difficulty in breathing ā€“ tight chest, wheezing

These casualties need immediate medical aid. The drug that is used to treat anaphylaxis is called Epinephrine. This is a life saving procedure that needs to be instigated at the earliest opportunity.


  • Airway, Breathing and Circulation ā€“ the A.B.Cā€™s
  • Rest and reassure
  • Loosen tight clothing
  • Steady and support in a position that allows them to breath more easily – normally sitting upright
  • Help the casualty to administer their auto-injector
  • Be prepared to resuscitate
  • Seek urgent medical help