What to do if someone has a severe allergic reaction
Allergies are thought to affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives.
Most allergies are mild and can be easily managed with simple lifestyle adaptations. However there are some cases where severe reactions can occur and when they do, it’s important to know how to react.
The St John Ambulance team has created a useful video on what to look out for and what you need to do in the case of a severe allergic reaction.
Watch the video: How To Treat A Severe Allergic Reaction
Typical signs and symptoms of someone suffering from an allergic reaction can include:
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Swelling of the lips and face
- Blotchy skin and rashes
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- Signs of shock or anaphylaxis
If you suspect someone is experiencing an allergic reaction you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible by either taking them to a hospital or by dialling 999.
If the person knows they have an allergy they may have medication with them, often in the form of an auto-injector or Epipen. If they do and are conscious you can help them to use it, or you can do it yourself following the instructions on the injector.
Get the person to sit in a comfortable position, leaning slightly forwards to keep their airway clear to help with their breathing. Keep offering them reassurance until medical assistance arrives.
If the person becomes unresponsive, open their airway and check for breathing. Visit the St John Ambulance website for more information on what to do when someone becomes unresponsive.