Anaphylaxis

AnaphylaxisAllergyWise recommends different positions to help recover from an anaphylactic reaction depending on the patient’s condition.

When the patient is using the auto-injector they should lie flat or they can sit down.

If the symptoms are affecting breathing, the patient may be more comfortable in the semi-recumbent position, resting on someone else or on pillows.  They will find it easier to breathe in this position.

If the patient is feeling cold, dizzy, feeling weak or they are clammy or sweaty, they may have low blood pressure, so you must lay them down with their legs raised on a chair or something similar.

It is important to not sit up or stand up after using the auto-injector as a sudden change in body position may lower the blood pressure drastically and this could make the condition much worse.

If you are caring for someone, when lying them down, it is a good idea to turn their head to one side to prevent them breathing in vomit if they are sick. If the patient looks like they may vomit, turn them on their side.

If they are unconscious, you should please them in the recovery position.

With them on their back, take the hand nearest to you and place it at 90 degrees from the body with the elbow bent.

Lean across them and pull their other hand across their body by the thumb and then interlock your fingers and hold their hand against their face on the side nearest to you.

With your other hand grip their leg furthest away from you and lift it so that the foot is flat on the floor.

Move your hand on the far side of the knee and turn them towards you using the leg as a lever and keeping their head supported with your other hand.

Remove your hand from their hand and open their airway by tilting the head back.  Their hand will remain on their face to support it.

Then tidy up their leg so it is not on the other leg which could reduce circulation and it will support them better.

Check they are breathing and that the airway is open and closely monitor their breathing and vital signs until the EMS arrive.  If available you can cover them with a blanket to keep them warm.

Remember in all cases you must call the EMS even if the patient is feeling better.

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