Anaphylaxis: symptoms, signs and management

Rachael Snowden
July 2009

Anaphylaxis is a severe and life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction. As it is a common presentation, it is vital that ambulance clinicians can recognize the signs and symptoms of this serious condition to enable the prompt and safe administration of life-saving treatment. This article presents an overview of the normal immune response and aims to provide clinicians with an increased understanding of the pathophysiology of anaphylaxis and its signs and symptoms. The pharmacology and the evidence base behind the interventions currently recommended to treat this condition are also discussed and some suggestions are made for future paramedic practice.

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