ST JOHN AMBULANCE: How to deal with anaphylactic shock

Anaphylactic shock is potentially fatal
Anaphylactic shock is potentially fatal
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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity has teamed up with the Littlehampton Gazette to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips – this week: recognising and dealing with anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction which affects the whole body.

In susceptible individuals it may develop within seconds or minutes of contact with the trigger factor and is potentially fatal.

Possible triggers can include skin or airborne contact with particular materials, the injection of a specific drug, the sting of a certain insect or the ingestion of a food such as peanuts.

To help recognise anaphylactic shock in a casualty, look for the following symptoms:

• Impaired breathing – this may range from a tight chest to severe difficulty.

• Wheezing or gasping for air.

• Signs of shock.

• Widespread blotchy skin eruption.

• Swelling of the tongue and throat.

• Puffiness around the eye.

• Anxiety.

To help, follows these simple steps:

• Dial 999/112 for emergency help.

• Give the operator any information you have on the cause of the casualty’s condition.

• Check whether the casualty is carrying any necessary medication. If she is, help her to use it.

If the casualty is conscious:

• Help her to sit up in a position that most relieves any breathing difficulty, this is usually sitting up and leaning forward slightly.

If the casualty becomes unconscious:

• Open the airway and check breathing.

• If the casualty is breathing normally, place her in the recovery position.

• If the casualty is not breathing, begin CPR.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website (www.sja.org.uk) offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice.

For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

• For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website {http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/default.aspx |(www.sja.org.uk)|www.sja.org.uk} offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.

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