Apr 07, 2017
Anaphylaxis is a severe, life threatening allergic reaction. It occurs as a response to entry of any foreign substance in the body.
Food like shell fish, peanuts, milk, egg chickpeas can cause anaphylaxis. Medications such as are β-lactam antibiotics (e.g. penicillin) followed by NSAIDs like aspirin, protamine, cephalosporin, vaccines, herbal preparations, vancomycin, morphine cause anaphylactic reactions by triggering degranulation of mast cells. Venom from insect bite/stings of Hymenoptera or triatominae can cause the disease. People who have atopic diseases like asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis are high risk category for anaphylaxis from agents like latex, radio contrast agents and food.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis can appear over minutes to hourswith onset averaging between 5 to 30 minutes. The most commonly affected areas are skin, gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous system,and cardiovascular system. Skin symptoms include urticaria, itching, hives, swelling and flushing. There may be swelling of the conjunctiva. The skin may also become blue in color due to lack of oxygen. The respiratory symptoms include shortness of breath, hoarseness of voice, painful swallowing etc. Wheezing may occur due to spasm of the muscles of bronchus. Stridor occurs due to upper airway obstruction. Cardiovascular symptoms include spasms of the coronary artery leading to cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction or dysrhythmia. There may be a drop or increase in blood pressure. Gastro symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea etc.
A new study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggested that 15 % of children who develop severe allergic reaction involving anaphylaxis may develop a second reaction few hours after the first reaction, which is known as 2 stage or biphasic anaphylactic reaction. The research was at Children's Hospital in Eastern Ontario on 484 children aged 6 to 9 years. The key message that came out of the study is that parents and doctors should look out for this 2 phasic anaphylactic reaction and the reaction should be treated as early as possible with epinephrine.
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.
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