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What is Anaphylaxis and How Do We Treat it?

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

    So, what is the ASCIA and what is their role in first aid in Australia regarding Anaphylaxis?

    ASCIA (Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) is a professional organisation of allergists and immunologists in Australia. Their focus is to provide up-to-date information and guidance on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of allergy and immunology-related conditions to healthcare professionals, as well as the public.
    They also play a role in promoting research and advancing the field of allergy and immunology in Australia. In terms of first aid, they provide educational resources and guidelines on the management of anaphylaxis.


    What is Anaphylaxis?

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It occurs when the body overreacts to a foreign substance, such as a food, medication, insect sting, or latex, that it considers harmful. The reaction can cause symptoms such as swelling of the face, lips, and tongue; hives; shortness of breath; rapid heartbeat; and low blood pressure. Anaphylaxis can progress quickly and can become life-threatening if not treated promptly with a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) and seeking immediate medical attention.


    How do we treat it?

    Treatment of anaphylaxis involves administering epinephrine as soon as possible, which is a medication that can rapidly reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis. In addition to epinephrine, other treatments may include:

    • Oxygen therapy: If the person is having trouble breathing, they may be given supplemental oxygen.
    • Antihistamines: Antihistamines can help relieve symptoms such as itching, hives, and rashes.
    • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation and swelling.
    • Bronchodilators: If the person has wheezing or difficulty breathing, a bronchodilator may be used to open their airways.

    It is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately after an anaphylactic reaction,
    even if the symptoms have improved with treatment, as the reaction can recur or worsen. After an
    anaphylactic reaction, the person should carry an epinephrine auto-injector and wear a medical alert
    bracelet or necklace to inform others of their condition.


    Want to know more?

    We cover Anaphylaxis in some of our range of Nationally Recognised First Aid Courses with the training and assessment delivered on behalf of Allens Training Pty Ltd 90909. To find out more, visit our First Aid page and book yourself into one of our courses. If you want a more intensive course in Anaphylaxis, visit our Anaphylaxis / Asthma / CPR page  here and book yourself in to learn more about Anaphylaxis. And don’t forget, visit our Blog page for more articles on other interesting topics. We are constantly adding to our Blog library and if you have a topic you want us to cover, please contact us at and ask us 😊


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