Paediatric anaphylaxis: triggers and management

Anaphylaxis is an acute-onset, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that involves at least two organ systems and usually occurs after exposure to a likely allergen. Anaphylaxis is a common presentation seen in children, and it is critical that ambulance clinicians are able to recognise the symptoms of this condition and appropriately manage it, as prompt treatment has been shown to lead to improved outcomes. This article presents an overview of paediatric anaphylaxis including epidemiology, triggers, diagnosis, clinical manifestations, and management, with a focus on how infants and children are similar and different than adult patients. Also discussed is why paediatric anaphylaxis is often underdiagnosed and undertreated, as well as paediatric populations who may require special attention for the management of anaphylaxis, such as infants, patients with a history of multiple emergency department visits for anaphylaxis, and asthmatics.

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