Anaphylaxis

Friday, January 18, 2013

Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a severe allergic reaction that affects the whole body and can lead to death. Dr. Edward Hill discusses anaphylaxis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Anaphylaxis occurs when your immune system reacts to an allergen. The flood of chemicals released in your body during anaphylaxis makes your blood pressure drop and your bronchial tubes narrow, causing difficulty breathing, unconsciousness and even death.

You may have an anaphylactic response within seconds of exposure to an allergen such as the venom from a bee sting or an ingested peanut.

Development of the following symptoms within minutes of exposure to an allergen is a strong indication of anaphylaxis:

Constriction of the airways

Shock

Weak and rapid pulse

Dizziness or fainting

Hives and itching

Flushed or pale skin

Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Call 911 or seek emergency medical help immediately. A person suffering an anaphylaxis attack is treated by a shot of epinephrine under the skin or into the muscle.

The best way to prevent anaphylaxis is to avoid any substance that has caused a severe reaction in the past.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.