Anaphylaxis – Part 1

Anaphylaxis – Part 1

Recognising the common signs of anaphylaxis


How would you recognise someone having an Anaphylactic reaction?


Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be incredibly harmful and even deadly. It can come on very suddenly and the progression of the symptoms is swift.


Find out below 6 things to look for that help you recognise Anaphylaxis
(the person may have signs of all or just some of the below)


1. Swelling to the lips, face or tongue. Anaphylaxis commonly gives swelling to these areas making it difficult for the person to breathe or speak

Angioedema (allergic swelling to soft tissues demonstrated here on the lips)

2. High-pitched noises coming from the mouth or chest. With swelling occurring to the upper airways, a characteristic ‘stridor’ whereas a narrowing in the lower airways creates a ‘wheeze’. Listen to the sound clips for examples of these noises by clicking here: Stridor and wheeze

3. Fear and agitation. It is widely cited that the person may feel a sense of ‘impending doom’

4. A rash on all, or part of the body. The rash usually looks like hives (urticaria). Although usually there, the rash is not always present in anaphylaxis

Urticarial rash

5. Feelings of nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

6. The symptoms usually occur and develop rapidly


Do your best to keep the person calm and as still as possible, raise the alarm by calling 999. The person can deteriorate extremely quickly so contacting 999 could save their life.

Next time… Administering Adrenaline Autoinjectors