Allergy Awareness Week – Anaphylaxis -First Aid

Allergy Awareness

5 top tips-
1) Know your people
2) Know when to use an Auto Injector
3) Know how to use an Auto injector
4) Know the position to put someone in
5) Know how to manage a casualty whilst waiting for help

1) Know your people

If colleagues, children, customers, volunteers etc in your workplace or organisation suffer from serious allergic reactions, ask them if they would like to share their information with the first aiders. Perhaps ask them to do a small presentation to the first aid team.  Always treat the information you have been given confidentially.

• What causes their reaction?
• How severe is the reaction?
• How do their symptoms appear?
• What medication do they use?
• What does it look like?
• Do they have an auto injector? – It is advised that people have 2 x auto adrenaline injectors?
• Where do they keep their medication?
• Can they/you always access it? Think- keys, combinations, lockers etc.
• When do they usually take the medication?
• When should emergency services be contacted?
• Is there anyone the first aider can call to ask about their condition and treatment?
• Are emergency contact details available on their mobile phone and accessible even when locked?
• Do you have current emergency contact details for someone to ring in an emergency? (Ideally 3)

2) Know when to administer an auto injector
If someone suffers from anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction, the advice is to encourage them to administer the auto injector as soon as possible.

3) Know how to use an Auto injector

There are 2 main brands on the market. Here are videos showing how to use them.
• EpiPen – find out how to use an EpiPen
• Jext – find out how to use Jext
(NB currently some Emerade auto injectors have been withdrawn, see your GP about a replacement.)
EpiPen and Jext both have a 10 second delivery time,

4) Know the position to keep the casualty after administering the auto injector

• Lie people flat
• Pregnant women lie on their left
• People having trouble breathing – sit them up
• People unconscious – place in the recovery position
• Avoid sudden change of position as this can cause a dangerous fall in blood pressure
• Be prepared to give CPR should the casualty stop breathing stop

5) Know how to manage a casualty whilst waiting for emergency services
Always ring 999 or 112 if you suspect someone is having a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.

• Use the auto injector
• Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better)
• Remove any trigger if possible
• lie the person down flat – unless they are unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties
• Give another injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms do not improve

For more information click onto the
Anaphylaxis Campaign website or
NHS -allergy information
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