Hello, this is Dr. David Khan, professor of
medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
Center. Today, I am going to teach you about anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can cause you to die if it is not treated
right away. It happens when your body reacts strongly against an allergen, most often foods,
drugs, and insect stings. In this video we will talk about how to know
if you are having anaphylaxis and the important steps to take to treat an anaphylactic reaction.
Anaphylaxis usually happens within minutes of being exposed to an allergen when the thing
you are allergic to gets into your body, but sometimes can happen several hours later.
There are four main types of symptoms caused by anaphylaxis: skin reactions, stomach problems,
trouble breathing, and blood circulation problems. Skin reactions are the most common symptoms
in anaphylaxis. These include itchy rashes and swelling. The most common type of rash is called hives.
This rash looks as red, raised sores or whelps that can join up and become bigger. These
whelps are usually very itchy. When the reaction happens under
your skin, there can be swelling that can come on very fast. This swelling is called
angioedema. Angioedema often occurs can be seen on the face, most commonly in the lips
and around the eyes. But can also cause swelling of the tongue and throat. The second type of symptom that can be seen
in anaphylaxis is stomach problems. Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting,
diarrhea (watery stools), and cramping pain in your stomach can all be caused by
an anaphylactic reaction. Trouble breathing is the third symptom type.
This can be caused by swelling in your throat or when the reaction happens in
your lungs. Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are all signs that your breathing
is being affected. The fourth group of symptoms in anaphylaxis
is caused by problems with blood circulation. This can cause you to be dizzy,
confused, have a weak pulse, and maybe lose of consciousness (fall out
or faint). It is important to remember these main symptoms
of anaphylaxis because an anaphylactic reaction must be treated quickly.
Epinephrine is the medicine used to treat anaphylaxis. It is injected
into your outer thigh muscle of the leg and comes in autoinjector syringes called EpiPens.
It is injected in the outer thigh muscle of It starts working quickly, and lasts
for 15 – 20 minutes. To help you know when to use epinephrine,
follow these guidelines: If you start having trouble breathing or symptoms
of poor blood circulation, use your EpiPen because these are serious symptoms you could die if they are not treated
If you have one symptom (for example hives) that keep getting worse, use your EpiPen
If you have more than one type of reaction (for example, a rash and stomach problems),
use your EpiPen If you have skin reactions in more than one
part of your body, use your EpiPen Finally, if you are ever not sure, use your
EpiPen. Epinephrine is very safe, so it is better to be safe and use your EpiPen if you
think you might be having a bad reaction. When you use an EpiPen, you should always
call 911. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that needs emergency treatment. Reactions
can happen again several hours after the first reaction, so it is important to be watched
closely by medical professionals after a reaction. In summary, to help you know if you are having
anaphylaxis, look for the four main types of symptoms (skin reactions, stomach problems,
trouble breathing, and poor blood circulation). Use your EpiPen if you think
you are having a bad allergic reaction or are if you are not sure. Call 911 so
you can get further treatment and be watched in the emergency room in case case your symptoms