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What is Anaphylaxis and Its Threat?

Infection Resulting in Rash

What should people know about Anaphylaxis?

  1. The nature of this allergic reaction.
  2. The main causes are certain foods, medicines, insect bites, and latex material.
  3. To determine if a person is under Anaphylactic shock there are symptoms regarding respiration, blood circulation, skin condition, and other varying signals.
  4. There are two types of reactions, which are Uniphasic and Biphasic.
  5. Just like most health concerns, Anaphylaxis also has prescribed treatment.
  6. There are also several conditions that make a person more susceptible to having a severe allergic reaction.
  7. In order to avoid such fatal conditions, several precautions may be done. 

Undergoing CPR training class can provide a person with the necessary skills that can aid numerous health concerns. CPR can even aid a person who is having a severe allergic reaction like Anaphylaxis.

Unlike the common allergic reaction, like sneezing or itching, Anaphylaxis can be fatal. To learn more about Anaphylaxis, here are the things you should be aware of.

Basic Information

Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction due to exposure to a specific allergen that can potentially be fatal if not immediately addressed.

Generally, the body’s immune system releases a wave of antibodies to restrain the foreign body. This type of natural body reaction is harmless if the foreign body is substances that can harm the body. Examples of these harmful substances are bacteria and viruses.

As the immune system of the body reacts unsuitably to the possible threat, an allergic reaction takes place. Delayed delivery of treatment is life-threatening since breathing or the heartbeat may suddenly stop.

Causas de la reacción alérgica

Causes of the Allergic Reaction

For every effect, there is a cause and the same goes for an Anaphylactic reaction. There are several factors that can trigger this severe allergic reaction. Here are the common causes or allergens of an Anaphylactic shock.

  1. Foods

This common allergen is prevalent specifically in children. Several people have a high level of sensitivity which causes the reaction to surface despite having only smelled the allergen and not ingested.

2. Peanuts

These are quite common causes of food allergies. However, some food allergies are incorporated into peanut butter, peanut butter cups, or even peanut-flavored ice-cream can cause a reaction to a person who is allergic to it.

3. Tree nuts

Tree nuts such as almonds, cashew, walnut, and pine nut can cause an allergic reaction to a person. Allergies towards tree nuts often last a lifetime and people rarely outgrow them.

4. Seafood

People can acquire an allergy to either vertebrates or invertebrates. Vertebrates that can cause allergic reactions are salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies, tuna, eels, and rays. Invertebrates can also cause an Anaphylactic shock. Examples of allergens are prawns, lobster, crab, crayfish. Several mollusks like oysters, mussels, clams, octopuses, squids, and sea slugs can also be harmful to some people.

5. Dairy products

Among all dairy products, milk specifically is the most probable allergen.

6. Eggs

Even though eggs can rarely cause an allergic reaction as severe as an Anaphylactic shock, it is still a possible allergen.

Both the egg white and egg yolks have proteins that could possibly be allergens. But, between the two parts, allergy to egg whites are more prevalent.

Even if the egg is merely incorporated into a dish as an ingredient, a person allergic to eggs can still have an allergic reaction.

7. Soy products

Products derived from soybeans can cause an allergic reaction to the surface. This specific type of allergy often begins in infancy and is outgrown eventually, though certain people still carry their soy allergy until adulthood.

8. Medications

Even several medicines can cause an allergic reaction in people. This is why a person receives an allergy test before admitted to the hospital.

9. Penicillin

Allergies towards this medicine are more evident when it is delivered through an injected shot compared to ingesting a pill.

10. Anti-inflammatory drugs

Specifically, non-steroidal medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause more damage than cure.

11. Pain relievers

Even over-the-counter painkillers can initiate a reaction. Some muscle relaxant that is utilized as anesthesia can be allergens.

12. Pollens

Although pollens are uncommon allergens, pollens such as ragweed and tree pollens are still possible allergens.

13. Insect bites

Bees, wasp, hornets, and fire ants have stings or bites that can stimulate a reaction.

14. Latex

Several people can develop an allergy towards items with parts made of latex. Medical tools like hospital gloves, syringes, and catheters have parts made up of latex. Balloons and rubber bands are examples of everyday products containing latex.

Síntomas de la anafilaxia


An Anaphylactic shock has symptoms that will indicate if a person is having an allergic reaction. Typically, the first signs of an Anaphylactic shot are as simple as a runny nose or a skin rash. More severe symptoms can arise after about 30 minutes. In addition, do take note that these will not all occur at the same time:

Respiratory Concerns

Cardiovascular ConcernsSkin ConditionOther Symptoms
Stuffy or Runny NoseErratic HeartbeatThe appearance of Hives and RashItchy or Swollen Tongue
CoughingLow Pulse CountSkin Redness


Wheezing ItchinessDiarrhea
Chest Tightness  Cramps
Trouble Breathing   
Tightness in Throat   

Different Types of Reaction

Just like other illnesses or medical concerns, there are several ways regarding the way a body reacts. For an Anaphylactic shock, there are two types of reactions that a person might experience.

  • Uniphase. For this type of reaction, the symptoms instantaneously appear and rapidly worsen. But, upon application of the required medication, the symptoms quickly fade and do not re-occur.
  • Bi-phasic. The symptoms of this type of reaction initially appear either mild or severe. After a time, no symptoms will appear which will eventually escalate to a severe occurrence of symptoms. In addition to the already worsening condition, complications regarding breathing and blood-pressure will arise. This type of reaction often occurs hours after the first reaction.


Due to the gravity of such a condition, immediate aid must be provided and a medical rescue team must be called immediately. Here are the steps to follow when aiding a person who is experiencing Anaphylactic shock.

  1. Position the person

If the victim is unconscious, laying down position is more ideal. While if the person is having trouble breathing, a sitting position will be more helpful. 

  1. Provide the needed medicine

An adrenaline autoinjector, or more commonly called Epinephrine (EpiPen) is a shot that must be administered usually in the thigh area.

  1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

If the person is not responding or has abnormal breathing, administer CPR as an aid.

Possible Risks

Some people have a higher risk of going into shock than others. Here are some conditions that heighten a person’s risk of a severe allergic reaction.

  1. A previous case of Anaphylaxis

A person who has already had a previous attack has a high risk of another reaction that can be more severe than the initial one. Families with a history of Anaphylaxis should undergo CPR training, or enrolling in an online CPR course, to ensure that the members are capable of providing aid in case the EpiPens are not effective.

2. Allergies and Asthma

People with allergies or asthma have a high possibility of going into shock when triggered.


Anaphylaxis can occur anytime and anywhere, that is why people must be cautious. People who have a history of Anaphylaxis and even those who haven’t must take note of these precautions.

  • Wear a medical necklace. This can act as a guide to the substances a person is allergic to.
  • Always carry needed medicines. People who have conditions that are of the high risk of an attack should always carry at least 2 shots with them all the time. Take note of the expiration date of the shots, these normally have a shelf life of 12 months.
  • Check the label. People diagnosed with specific food allergies must always scrutinize thoroughly the labels to ensure that the food does not contain any possible allergens.

Key Takeaway

Anaphylactic shock is a serious and fatal condition that can be caused by anything in the surrounding environment. It can also happen to anybody, which is why undergoing CPR training. Even online CPR training can provide the necessary skills to combat a severe allergic reaction.