5 tips for managing anaphylaxis
September 10 2021
Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction can be extremely distressing, both for the person experiencing the symptoms and for those wanting to help.
While it’s important to stay calm, it’s also vital to treat anaphylaxis as quickly as possible.1
Here are five tips that may help you act correctly:
1) Identify signs and symptoms1
These are symptoms of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). You may need to use EpiPen® if one or more are present:
- Difficult or noisy breathing
- Swelling of tongue
- Swelling or tightness of throat
- Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
- Wheeze or persistent cough
- Dizziness or collapse
- Young children may become pale or floppy
2) Lie flat
A person with suspected anaphylaxis should lie flat on their back. Pregnant women should be encouraged to lie on their left side. If the person is vomiting, they should lie on their side in the recovery position. If breathing is difficult, the next best thing is to sit on the floor (not on a chair).2
3) Never stand or walk
A person with anaphylaxis should NOT stand, walk, or be held upright, even if they appear to have recovered.2
4) Give EpiPen®3,4
Follow the steps in your ASCIA action plan. If in doubt, give EpiPen®. If you have both severe allergies and asthma, always use EpiPen® before a reliever puffer if you suspect anaphylaxis.
Steps to follow:
- Pull off the blue EpiPen® safety release
- Push the orange end of the EpiPen® Auto-Injector firmly into the outer mid-thigh until you hear or feel a click
- Hold down for 3 seconds
- Phone triple zero (000) for an ambulance
- Phone family/emergency contact
- You may need to use EpiPen® again before the ambulance arrives if there is no response after 5 minutes
5) Remember this mantra
Blue to the sky. Orange to the Thigh.
Prepared September 2021. EPI-2021-0202.
Video: How Tia put her EpiPen® lessons to use
Tia and Henry share their relief that they had EpiPen® at hand during an anaphylactic incident at a festival.
Video: Anaphylaxis incident at school is a lesson for teachers and parents
Mum tells us about the day her daughter ate nuts at school but was afraid to tell anyone.
Five anaphylaxis questions answered
What is anaphylaxis, and what are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis? We answer these and other questions.
You don’t need medical training for EpiPen® – just practice
EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr are designed so that anyone can provide essential first aid if required to save lives.
4 myths about anaphylaxis
What you need to know about signs, symptoms and treatments for severe allergic reactions.
How does EpiPen® work?
Have you ever wondered what’s in your EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injector and how it works? Here’s a quick summary.
Join more than 35,000 EpiPen® Auto-Injector users and reap the benefits1
MyEpiPen® is an online resource dedicated to helping you and your family be better prepared to manage anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). If you're not yet a member of MyEpiPen®, make sure you join today to receive:
- An EpiPen® Trainer – a training device to help you practise using EpiPen® Auto-Injector
- How to use EpiPen® Auto-Injector fridge magnet - to serve as a useful reminder
- Expiry reminders - to help ensure you always have an in-date EpiPen® Auto-Injector at hand
- Regular updates on the latest anaphylaxis news