What is Anaphylaxis

Video 4 of 31
2 min 4 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Anaphylaxis Demystified

Defining Anaphylaxis

The NHS Perspective:

The NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence defines anaphylaxis as a "severe, life-threatening, generalised or systemic hypersensitivity reaction."

Varying Susceptibility

Not Allergic, Not Always Anaphylactic:

Not everyone possesses allergies, and having allergies doesn't guarantee susceptibility to anaphylactic shock.

Unpredictable Onset:

Anaphylaxis can initiate suddenly within seconds, over minutes, or even hours after allergen exposure.

Common Allergenic Culprits

Food Triggers:

Common food allergens encompass peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, citrus fruit, eggs, and dairy products like milk and cheese.

Other Allergens:

Additional allergenic sources include venom from insect stings or bites, medications (commonly antibiotics, aspirin, or ibuprofen), and substances like latex.

Anaphylaxis Unveiled

Distinctive Indications:

Anaphylaxis manifests in specific ways, with breathing difficulties being a predominant symptom due to airway constriction.

Breathing Distress:

The condition leads to the narrowing of air passages in the lungs, impeding oxygen intake, resulting in rapid, shallow breathing.

Cardiovascular Impact:

Anaphylaxis can induce a drop in blood pressure, potentially causing fainting or unconsciousness as the body attempts to restore oxygen supply to the brain.

Secondary Symptoms:

Additional signs encompass an accelerated heartbeat, cold, clammy skin, confusion, or nausea. The severity of these symptoms correlates with the intensity of the reaction.

Understanding the gravity of anaphylaxis and its triggers is essential for timely intervention.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit four LO6.1, 6.2 & 6.3