Best position when having an anaphylactic reaction?

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 12:42pm
smartalyk's picture
Joined: 07/20/2004 - 09:00


It makes complete sense. When I took my CPR course, the way to treat shock is to have the person lying down with their feet raised. This keeps the blood flowing to the heart and is less work on the heart. Unless, like that article states, the person needs to sit up to breathe.

My son went by ambulance when he had his anaphylactic reaction in May... he was lying down. His blood pressure wasn't low though I don't think. His oxygen was low, his face was swollen and he was having trouble speaking/ breathing.

Where did you find that information?

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 12:43pm
smartalyk's picture
Joined: 07/20/2004 - 09:00

Oops! I see you posted a link... ignore my question about where you found the information. LOL

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 1:12pm
cooper's picture
Joined: 12/20/2002 - 09:00

(edited), I think it was in the last year that I saw an article about this, but when I just did a quick search, I couldn't find it. I do remember it was suggested that if possible, the person should be lying down. I googled anaphylaxis, and there were several mentions of this, but no reference to the study I had in mind. Maybe someone else remembers?
When my son had his reaction, he sat upright in the nurse's office waiting for the ambulance. He got the epi while sitting upright as well. My impulse was to keep him alert, and I just wanted him to stay with me.

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 2:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

(edited), I'm pretty sure that it was Codyman that told me here last year after Jesse had his anaphylactic reaction at school that I shouldn't have walked him over to the hospital, that he should have been lying down. It's on here somewhere, just not clear where.
I know that after she told me, I did revise Jesse's written emergency plan at school.
I'm pretty sure it was Codyman.
Also, I remember when Jesse had the anaphylactic reaction where he almost died - he was running around like crazy - really out of control - coughing, then vomiting, but running running. It was outside.
I'll have to read this again tomorrow when I'm more awake.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 2:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

(edited), my apologies to cynde. It was her that told me. At least I remembered the UserName started with a "c":-
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 2:45pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

My goodness, this makes me think that school emergency plans should reflect this new ( [img][/img] ) piece of information. (Cindy, that's good that Jesse's already does.) We use the "emergency action plan" from FAAN and there is nothing written about posture.
[img][/img] Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 3:20pm
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

I remember this study coming out last year? and being surprised that it wasn't getting a lot of attention. Somewhere during one of my searches of the Net, I did come across confirmation of this (I think it was a website targeting doctors re:epinephrine usage...
I did update our emergency plan this summer to incorporate this fact for the coming school year. Agree w/California Mom that we should all be taking the new info into account...

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2004 - 11:03pm
attlun's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

When Trevor had his ana. reaction, he started out sitting up, but we laid him down to give him the epi-pen. In the ambulance, they had him sitting up in a carseat on the way to the hospital, not lying down.
Trevor age 2 -PA
Harmony age 1 -Asthma, EA
Trace Michael-born June 18, 2004!!

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2004 - 2:32am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

I would love to see this whole study. I am searching for it, and also emailed the newspaper to see if they could guide me to it. I will let you know if I find anything.

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2004 - 2:38am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

found this ... [url=""][/url]
and here is one study, but you have to pay. Is anyone a member that can copy this over here?
Here is JACI website, you also have to pay, anyone a member?

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2004 - 12:38pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I am reluctant to enter into this because I do not want you to take this as advice but....
Anaphylaxis causes decreased vascular smooth muscle tone. One of the things of anaphylaxis. If your vascular system (veins and arteries) lose their muscle tone they are unable to pump the blood back into your heart. So when you sit up or stand up the blood rushes down to your feet, thus leaving your heart and your head.
This is very dangerous, you pass out and could die. Easily. Not because you are passed out, because there is no blood in your heart or brain.
Anyone suffering anaphylaxis could experience a drop in blood pressure caused by decreased vascular smooth muscle tone. Therefore you should get that person down, not up. Lie down with your feet higher than your heart. That brings the blood from your lower extremeties and organs back to your brain and heart. Until help arrives.
The epi pen should be correcting this pretty immediately also. But not enough for you to get up and walk away.
My son never lost his blood pressure. We always jumped quickly and used the epi pen thus stopping the reaction until he could get to a hospital. He never even dropped his blood pressure.
Trying to keep someone awake might be more comfortable for you but I don't think it has much bearing on making the person better.
I would get the person to sit or lie down until help arrives. Remember we are calling 911 not putting the person in our cars and going off ourselves to the hospital. Let 911 handle it but until they arrive my belief is the person should lie down.
If the person is in respiratory distress because of the anaphylaxis then lying down might not be possible so you have to improvise, get his legs propped up as he sits but in any case please call 911.



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