Anaphylaxis

"At the moment we have a new way of immunotherapy, especially useful for children, which consists of applying drops under the tongue. This avoids punctures and can be applied at home".

DR. MARTA FERRER PUGA
DIRECTOR. ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Anaphylaxis is an extremely serious allergic reaction that affects the entire body and occurs within minutes of exposure to the allergen. It could also be defined as an "explosive" reaction of the immune system to an external agent.

Despite the high incidence of allergic diseases, this picture is very rare, its incidence is estimated at 1% of the population.

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What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

It affects several organs at once: the most frequently involved are the skin, the cardiovascular, respiratory and sometimes the digestive system. Symptoms develop rapidly.

The clinical picture usually begins with intense itching in palms and soles, scalp and genital area. It usually continues with intense palpitations (tachycardia), which may be accompanied by generalized intense redness, breathing difficulty, diarrhea, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, it often leads to cardiocirculatory collapse.

What are the most common symptoms?

  • Itching
  • Tachycardia
  • Widespread intense redness
  • Breathing difficulty 

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have suffered anaphylactic shock

What are the causes of anaphylaxis?

The most common cause is drug allergy, wasp venom allergy, food allergy and finally latex allergy. It requires immediate medical attention.

What precautions should be taken?

  • Avoiding exposure to the allergen that has caused the reaction is key to preventing it from happening again.
  • In the case of foods, collect information about those containing that substance and eliminate them absolutely from the intake.
  • In the case of wasp or bee sting allergy, there is a vaccine that is highly effective.

How is anaphylaxis diagnosed?

Anaphylaxis is diagnosed by the clinical picture the patient presents. These are very characteristic symptoms and the physician who assesses the patient will easily recognize if it is an episode of anaphylaxis.

Once this emergency has been treated, the allergist must be consulted for a complete evaluation and a study to detect the possible causes.

The differential diagnosis of anaphylaxis involves considering all causes of respiratory obstruction and vascular collapse, including pulmonary thromboembolism, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac tamponade, etc.

How is anaphylaxis treated?

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment

In the case of presentation, an adrenaline treatment must be applied as soon as possible. This drug works better the sooner it is administered. In addition, antihistamines and steroids are usually prescribed to speed up the patient's recovery.

People who have suffered an episode of anaphylaxis or have a severe allergic process should always carry a self-injectable adrenaline kit that is easy to apply.

Where do we treat it?

IN NAVARRE AND MADRID

Department of Allergology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

The Department of Allergy and Immunology of the Clinic is part of the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, composed of the 25 best departments of Allergy in Europe, chosen for their scientific excellence, multidisciplinary work, teaching and international activities.

We have the most advanced diagnostic techniques, we are at the forefront of research and we collaborate with the best experts. We have more than 50 years of experience in the field.

What diseases do we treat?

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Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 50 years of experience.
  • Pioneers in the technique of molecular diagnosis by microarray.
  • Nursing specialized in allergic diseases and their care.

Safer than ever to continue taking care of you

We update safety protocols weekly with the latest scientific evidence and the knowledge of the best international centers with which we collaborate.