Anaphylaxis- recognition and management (Mental Health)

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Anaphylaxis is classed as a medical emergency and should be treated immediately. Anaphylaxis can be described as a severe, life threatening, generalised or systemic hypersensitivity reaction. This reaction is characterised by rapidly developing, life threating airway, and or breathing, and or circulatory problems, usually associated with skin or mucosal changes.

Adrenaline is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Intramuscular adrenaline should be administered early (in the anterolateral thigh) for Airway/Breathing/Circulation problems. A single dose of IM adrenaline is well-tolerated and poses minimal risk to an individual having an allergic reaction. If in doubt, give IM adrenaline. Repeat IM adrenaline after 5 minutes if Airway/Breathing/Circulation problems persist.

The Resuscitation Council UK 2021 has introduced the use of a second algorithm named the Refractory algorithm within the Emergency Treatment of Anaphylaxis guidelines for healthcare providers.

This policy is for healthcare providers who are expected to treat anaphylaxis during their usual clinical role (e.g. doctors, nurses, paramedics) working in an inpatient or community setting.

NOTE: This guideline is hosted on the NHSGGC MyPsych website. Clicking the link below will open the guideline in a new window.


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Mental Health