What to do in the case of Anaphylaxis

A severe allergic reaction is the body’s immune system overreacting to a foreign substance. This is called Anaphylaxis and is potentially life-threatening.

What to do

  1. Follow DRSABCD St John WA Action Plan.
  2. Lay the casualty flat. If breathing is difficult allow them to sit. DO NOT allow them to stand or walk.
  3. If the casualty is carrying an adrenaline autoinjector, use it immediately. Ask the casualty if they need your help to use the adrenaline auto-injector.
  4. Urgent medical aid. Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.
  5. If required assist the casualty with an adrenaline autoinjector (EpiPen®).
    ++ Form a firm fist around the EpiPen® and pull off the BLUE SAFETY RELEASE.
    ++ Place ORANGE END against outer mid-thigh at a 90° angle (can be injected through clothing).
    ++ Push down hard until a click is heard or felt and hold in place for three (3) seconds.
    ++ Remove EpiPen® and dispose of it safely being careful of the needle.  
    ++ Monitor the casualty, if no improvement, administer a second dose after 5 minutes.
  6. Commence CPR and defibrillation at any time if the casualty is unconscious and is not breathing normally.

Caused by

  • Food: Nuts, cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish and soy products.
  • Medications: Penicillin, Sulphur, antibiotics, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Codeine or Morphine.
  • Venom: Bites from ticks, stings from bees, wasps and ants.

Signs and symptoms

  • Difficult and/or noisy breathing.
  • Wheeze or persistent cough.
  • Swelling of the face and tongue.
  • Swelling/tightness of the throat.
  • Difficulty talking and/or “hoarse” voice.
  • Persistent dizziness or collapse.
  • Young children may become pale and floppy.
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Hives, welts and body redness.