What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is an extreme and severe allergic reaction which affects the whole body. This often occurs within minutes of exposure to the substance which causes the allergic reaction (allergen), but sometimes after a number of hours.
What can cause anaphylaxis?
Common causes include foods such as: peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts), sesame, fish, shellfish, dairy products and eggs.
Non-food causes include: wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), penicillin or any other drug or injection.
In some people, exercise can trigger a severe reaction, either on its own or when combined with other factors such as food or drugs (e.g. aspirin).
What are the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction?
A patient doesn't necessarily experience all of these symptoms in the same episode, but common symptoms are:
• generalised flushing of the skin
• hives (look like nettle rash) anywhere on the body
• sense of impending doom
• swelling of throat and mouth
• difficulty in swallowing or speaking
• alterations in heart rate
• severe asthma
• abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
• sudden feeling of weakness (drop in blood pressure)
• collapse and unconsciousness
We offer two anaphylaxis centred training courses in Gloucestershire: