Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a dangerous reaction of the body to an allergen. In this case, a real threat to human life arises. In the overwhelming majority of cases, such a reaction occurs upon repeated contact with the stimulus. Anaphylaxis requires an immediate start of treatment, since any delay can lead to death. This reaction can appear at any age. However, young men and women are most susceptible to this reaction. According to statistics, almost 0.4 cases of anaphylactic shock end in death.

Anaphylaxis symptoms (signs)

A reaction can manifest itself both immediately after contact with an allergen, and after a few hours. The most common signs of anaphylactic shock are:

Doctors carrying a patient to intensive care unit. Medical concept.

swelling at the site of contact with the allergen
muscle spasm
redness of the skin
rashes and itching
nausea and vomiting
Symptoms vary in intensity. This factor is significantly influenced by the amount of allergen that has entered the body. Doctors also identify late signs of anaphylaxis. These include:

difficulty breathing
heart rhythm disturbances
a sharp drop in blood pressure
loss of consciousness

The appearance of such symptoms should be the basis for urgent hospitalization of the patient. It is worth remembering that you will not be able to cope with such a problem on your own. Only highly qualified doctors can save a patient’s life, so it is impossible to hesitate to call an ambulance.


Any allergen can provoke such a reaction of the body. Anaphylaxis appears due to the release of substances from the cells of the human immune system that cause the inflammatory process. Doctors note that anaphylactic shock most often occurs when exposed to the following allergens:

natural latex
animal hair

Medical statistics indicate that there are about 3,000 allergens that can trigger this reaction in humans. Moreover, the list of such substances only grows over the years. Anaphylactic shock can occur with certain medications. These include penicillin antibiotics, antimicrobials, and hormonal agents. Some vaccines that are used to prevent diseases such as diphtheria, influenza and tetanus are also significant risks. According to research, the three most common causes of anaphylaxis are insect and animal bites, food, and medications. Rarely encountered reasons for such a dangerous body reaction include:

seminal fluid
nutritional supplements
physical exercise

In almost 5% of cases, it is not possible to identify the cause of the appearance of the reaction. This type of disease in the medical environment is called idiopathic anaphylaxis.

Which doctor should I go to?

You can cope with such an ailment if you provide a person with medical assistance in a timely manner. The following specialists are involved in the treatment of anaphylactic shock:


The doctor will carefully examine the patient, analyzing his complaints. It is really very important for a doctor to make a correct diagnosis. To do this, he must study the history of a person’s life. Therefore, the specialist will definitely take an interest in:

Does the person have allergies?
Have there been similar reactions in the past?
When did you notice the first signs of anaphylaxis?
What have you been ill with lately?
Did you take any medications?

If a person is admitted to the hospital in a serious condition or unconscious, then the doctors examine all his vital signs: they measure the pulse and blood pressure, and do an electrocardiogram. After the patient’s condition is normalized, he undergoes a blood test, during which specialists can identify a potentially dangerous allergen for the patient.


The patient needs urgent medical attention. Treatment begins with the urgent administration of a dose of adrenaline to the patient. Therefore, for people who have already had anaphylactic shock, and the likelihood of its occurrence is high, it is important to always carry a syringe with this substance with them. Adrenaline helps:

restore breathing
relax smooth muscles
normalize blood circulation

Also, a patient who has anaphylactic shock requires hospitalization. He will have to be under the supervision of medical workers until his physical condition is completely stabilized. Also, the patient may be prescribed taking glucorticosteroids and antihistamines. They allow:

increase blood pressure
normalize cardiac activity
reduce the manifestations of the disease
reduce the risk of recurrence

To prevent the appearance of anaphylaxis, a person must completely exclude contact with an allergen. Also, doctors recommend that people who are prone to allergies, limit their presence in dusty rooms, stop smoking. Such irritants can significantly affect the body’s sensitivity to allergens, which in turn significantly increases the risk of developing anaphylaxis.