Allergy shock defined
Allergy shock also called anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction in which a person goes into shock. It sometimes occurs when people come into contact with a substance to which they are allergic. This is a true life-threatening emergency. There is no way of knowing if patients will stabilize, grow worse slowly or rapidly, or overcome the reaction on their own. Many patients in allergy shock decline rapily. For some, death is a certain outcome unless special treatment is given quickly. Many different things can cause allergy shock, such as:
1. Insect bites and stings, including bee stings
2. Foods and spices (example: peanuts)
3. Inhaled substances, including dust and pollens
4. Chemicals, Inhaled or when in contact with skin
5. Medications, injected or taken by mouthe, including penicillin
The sign and symptoms of allergy shock are:
1. Skin- burning, itching, or "breaking out"
(such as hives or some type of rash)
2. Breathing- difficult and rapid, with possible chest pains and wheezing
3. Pulse- rapid, very weak or not detected
4. Face- the lips often turn blue(cyanosis), the face and tongue may swell
5. State of consciousness- restlessness, often followed by fainting or unconsciousness
Patients in allergy shock need medications as soon as possible. Some people who are sensitive to peanuts or have other allergy problems carry medications to take in case of an emergency. These medications, usaully epinephrine and/or antihistamines, can be administered by the patient.
[This message has been edited by Firefighter1 (edited February 07, 1999).]
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