Anaphylaxis is the most serious, easily fatal allergy not only seen in young children but also adults if not diagnosed and dealt with promptly.
Anaphylaxis is always a confusing incident for not only patients’ family members but also doctors. The disease appears quickly, immediately or after 30 minutes of using drugs, testing, bee stings or after eating a strange food.
If the symptoms appear earlier, the more severe the disease is, the higher the mortality rate. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the causes, manifestations, ways to handle and prevent emergency for quick, timely and accurate treatment for patients.
The incidence of anaphylaxis in Europe is 4-5 cases / 10,000 people, in the US in recent years is 58.9 cases / 100,000 people. In Vietnam, although there are no statistics, drug-induced anaphylaxis still occurs frequently, everywhere, in hospitals and medical facilities .. in many cases, patients died.
Causes of anaphylaxis
There are many causes of anaphylaxis, not just the vaccine injection, as many people believe.
Drugs are the leading cause of anaphylaxis. The drug route into the body as intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, in the skin; oral, inhaled, ophthalmic, vaginal or topical medications .. can cause anaphylactic shock. However, intravenous route is the most dangerous. All drugs can cause anaphylaxis for patients, most commonly β lactam antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-convulsions, contrast, anesthesia, anesthesia …
Foods of animal and plant origin that can cause anaphylaxis such as mackerel, tuna, shrimps, snails, pupae, eggs, milk, pineapples, potatoes, peanuts, soybeans, nuts and additives …
When insects like bees; snakes, centipedes, scorpions, spiders … bite, the amount of toxins in insect venom released will cause anaphylactic shock to the victim. Other causes can be pollen, resin, …
Manifestations of people with anaphylaxis
Clinical symptoms of anaphylaxis due to drugs or other causes are basically the same and occur in all internal organs in the body.
Patients with dyspnea, asphyxia, cyanosis, respiratory failure due to bronchospasm cause suffocation. Anaphylactic shock causes edema of the vocal cords, tracheal edema, and bronchospasm with pulmonary edema.
Anaphylaxis causes varicose veins, hypotension, cardiovascular collapse often occurs early as a result of the chemicals put into the body. Lack of oxygen in the blood, decreased volume of circulation leads to acidosis and reduced myocardial contractility is a severe stage of anaphylactic shock.
The patient quickly suffered from headaches, dizziness, limb tremors, lethargy awareness, babbling, convulsions all over the body and could faint or lethargy.
If anaphylaxis is caused by food or oral medications, patients will experience severe abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, uncontrollable diarrhea, even gastrointestinal bleeding.
The skin of anaphylaxis with rash, urticaria, Quincke edema (a rapid and sudden swelling in both the lower and upper surfaces of the skin and mucous membranes, mainly on the tongue, lips, eyes, around mouth, hands, feet, pharynx and genitals).
Anaphylaxis is divided into 3 levels, which are Slight, Medium and Severe
With symptoms of headache, fear, dizziness, there may be urticaria, rash, Quincke edema, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, involuntary urinary tract, tachycardia, hypotension , shortness of breath.
Patients have panic feeling, fear of death, dizziness, tingling throughout the body, difficulty breathing, convulsions, sometimes coma, abdominal pain, pale skin, pale mucosa, dilated pupils, small fast vessels, low blood pressure or unmeasureable.
Happen right in the first minute with lightning speed. The comatose, suffocating, pale skin, blood pressure cannot be measured, death after a few minutes, rarely lasts a few hours.
Watch out for late happenings after anaphylaxis such as allergic myocarditis, nephritis, glomerulonephritis. These complications can lead to death. There have been cases of anaphylaxis that have been treated but 1-2 weeks later, bronchial asthma, urticaria, and Quincke edema recurred many times.
The severity of anaphylaxis depends on the sensitivity of each body, the amount and speed of absorption of foreign substances into the body and depending on the duration of treatment. Early signs to note: itchy hands, feet, numbness of the lips, tongue, difficulty breathing, tachycardia, restlessness, panic.
What to do to prevent anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis can occur very early or sometimes later than a few hours, but when anaphylaxis occurs, the progression will be very fast within 1–2 minutes and is in critical condition, at this very moment hard to reverse the situation. Therefore, take note of the followings to prevent anaphylaxis:
If you have a medical history of allergy, talk carefully to your doctor when you get a prescription because people like you will be very allergic to medication. Always bring with you all kinds of allergy medications.
When injecting drugs, if there are unusual feelings such as restlessness, panic, fear, numbness, etc., tell the doctor immediately to stop the injection and promptly treat as anaphylaxis.
After completing the injection, you should stay in the injection room for about 15-30 minutes to prevent anaphylaxis that occurs later, depending on the person.
Using drugs reasonably, safely and correctly.
When eating strange food, try a small amount to consider the body’s reaction. Wait after 24 hours to eat again if there is no unusual phenomenon. For those with allergic sites it is very easy to be shocked by eating strange substances.