Anaphylaxis Video Series

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. It is usually triggered by certain foods, medication, venom from an insect sting, or latex.

Anaphylaxis can occur almost immediately or it may develop over several minutes or even hours. It requires immediate medical attention and can be fatal if left untreated.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis can be different each time and may vary in severity. They typically involve more than one organ system of the body: itchy hives, swelling around or inside the mouth, coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, headache,  a weak pulse, dizziness, fainting, and in the most severe cases, loss of consciousness.

The earlier anaphylaxis is diagnosed, the better the outcome. Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis.

These short videos serve as an introductory guide to anaphylaxis and how to treat it. If there are any videos you’d like to see in our “Learning Pathways: Info in Minutes” series, please contact us at Allergy & Asthma Network.

Anaphylaxis 101:

Anaphylaxis 101 Video Transcript

Slide 1

Welcome to Allergy & Asthma Network’s Patient Learning Pathways series. Today we’ll be looking at anaphylaxis.

Slide 2

What is anaphylaxis (ana-fil-axis)?

Slide 3

It is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to food, insect venom, medication, latex or another allergen. Research shows that it occurs in about 1 to 50 people, although many believe the rate is higher.

Slide 4

Symptoms typically involve more than one body system. 

Slide 5

The symptoms of anaphylaxis can start within seconds of exposure or they may not appear until two hours later.  This makes identifying the cause of anaphylaxis a little tricky sometimes. 

Slide 6

Symptoms can be different each time a person experiences anaphylaxis and they can vary in severity each time.   But when symptoms start they usually progress quickly. 

Slide 7

While skin symptoms such as itchy rashes and hives are common with anaphylaxis, they don’t always occur.   10 to 20% of cases have no skin symptoms.

Slide 8

Symptoms can include:  Itching, redness, swelling and hives on the skin

Slide 9

Itching and swelling of the lips and tongue

Slide 10

Vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps

Slide 11

Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest pain or tightness

Slide 12

Weak pulse, dizziness or faintness

Slide 13

Headache, nasal congestion, watery eyes

Slide 14

Sweating, confusion, a feeling of impending doom and a possible loss of consciousness

Slide 15

An important rule to remember is that epinephrine is the only medication that can reverse the life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis.  It is the first line of treatment and should be administered as soon as anaphylaxis symptoms occur. 

Slide 16

30% of people who experience an anaphylactic reaction need more than one dose of epinephrine to relieve symptoms. People at risk for anaphylaxis should always carry 2 epinephrine auto injectors with them. 

Slide 17

There are several allergies that can put someone at risk for anaphylaxis. Approximately 15 million Americans, including 6 million children have a food allergy.

Slide 18

The only proven way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the foods you’re allergic to.  And the best way to find out what you’re allergic to is to get a diagnosis from a board-certified allergist. 

Slide 19

Some practical tips for people with a food allergy include reading labels for all foods.  Look for that statement that says “may contain.”  Some ingredients can be listed under many different names on food label – such as whey for dairy or legumes for peanut.  

Slide 20

If you’re unsure about whether a food contains any ingredient that you’re allergic to, don’t buy the product and check with the manufacturer first to see what it contains.

Slide 21

Insect venom allergies can cause reactions beyond the site where the sting occurred.  This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment with epinephrine.

Slide 22

Latex allergy is a reaction to proteins from rubber tree sap.  The milky fluid is used to manufacture more than 40,000 products, including surgical gloves and helium balloons.

Slide 23

Symptoms range from skin irritation to respiratory symptoms to life-threatening anaphylaxis, and there’s no way to predict what will happen if exposed.  The only way for people with latex allergy to prevent symptoms is strict avoidance of latex, which is not an easy thing. 

Slide 24

Some people are allergic to certain medications.  This is called drug-induced anaphylaxis.  Symptoms can begin within moments of ingesting the medication or up to several hours later. 

Slide 25

With anaphylaxis, the cause is often obvious, but in rare cases there is no obvious or apparent cause for a reaction.  If this occurs, you should consult a board certified allergist for an in-depth evaluation.

Slide 26

If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing anaphylaxis, remember to give epinephrine first and epinephrine fast!  Always call 911 for additional medical care.

Slide 27

Join us soon for another Patient Learning Pathways presentation. Allergy & Asthma Network is working every day to end the needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions through outreach, education, advocacy and research.

Anaphylaxis Treatment:

Anaphylaxis Treatment Video Transcript

Slide 1

Welcome to Allergy & Asthma Network’s Patient Learning Pathways series.  Today we’ll be looking at anaphylaxis and allergy treatment.

Slide 2

In our Anaphylaxis 101 program, we explored the question, “What is Anaphylaxis?” You may remember that anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to food, insect venom, medication, latex or another allergen.

Slide 3

Symptoms typically involve more than one organ system and can include:

  • Itching, redness, swelling and hives on the skin
  • Itching and swelling of the lips and tongue

Slide 4

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest pain or tightness

Slide 5

  • Weak pulse, dizziness or faintness
  • A headache, nasal congestion, watery eyes

Slide 6

  • Sweating, confusion or a feeling of impending doom
  • And possibly loss of consciousness

Slide 7

Anaphylaxis must be treated immediately – that means that life-saving medication must be given without delay!

Slide 8

Some people experience a mild allergic reaction – and that may include hives, itching, nasal congestion along with red itchy eyes and a rash.  A mild reaction is usually centered on one body system – and that is often the skin.

Slide 9

This kind of allergic reaction is not anaphylaxis and may be treated with an over the counter medication – there are many antihistamines available to treat a reaction with these mild symptoms.

Slide 10

Anaphylaxis is a very different type of response – this reaction is severe and life threatening.  Anaphylaxis affects more than one major body system – and it often progresses quickly. 

Slide 11

It needs to be treated immediately.  And the medication of choice for anaphylaxis is epinephrine.

Slide 12

Epinephrine is the ONLY drug that will reverse anaphylaxis and it should be given as SOON as symptoms appear!  Any delay will greatly increase your chance of having to stay in the hospital and fatal reactions often occur with either waiting too long to use epinephrine or not using it all.

Slide 13

How does epinephrine work?

Slide 14

Epinephrine increases your heart rate and blood pressure, relaxes muscles in your airways, reverses swelling and suppresses your immune system’s response to allergens and all of this temporarily halts the life-threatening effects of an anaphylactic reaction.

Slide 15

There is no medical reason to NOT give epinephrine. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis – there is no alternative.

Slide 16

Epinephrine comes in an autoinjector that contains a premeasured dose of epinephrine. These auto injectors are designed for anyone to use – you don’t need to be a medical person to be able to give epinephrine using an autoinjector.

Slide 17

It’s important to follow a few instructions so that your epinephrine autoinjector is ready to help you in an emergency. 

Slide 18

Store your epinephrine autoinjector as close to room temperature as possible. Leaving it in extremely hot or cold temperatures make the epinephrine ineffective and could cause the injector to malfunction. Do not store them in your car or in a refrigerator.

Slide 19

Check your device regularly to be sure the liquid inside is clear and ready to use.

Slide 20

Epinephrine auto injectors have an expiration date and they should be replaced as soon as they expire. If all you have is an outdated autoinjector, you can use it in emergency as it may provide some benefit.

Slide 21

It’s important to keep your epinephrine autoinjector close to you. In an emergency you may need it within minutes.

Slide 22

If you have used your epinephrine autoinjector for an anaphylactic reaction, you should call ambulance and go to emergency room for evaluation. Even if your symptoms seem to improve, you may be at risk for a secondary or biphasic reaction that will need additional treatment.

Slide 23

Seconds matter when it comes to anaphylaxis. It’s important to always be prepared  – make sure you have your epinephrine autoinjector with you and that it is ready to use – everywhere, every day.

Slide 24

Join us soon for another Patient Learning Pathways presentation. Allergy & Asthma Network is working every day to end the needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions through outreach, education, advocacy and research.