What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that occurs rapidly and when severe can cause death.  Early recognition and effective treatment increase chance for survival. An allergic reaction is induced by a trigger, which are numerous and diverse. Many cases of anaphylaxis go untreated because of poor recognition, knowledge and understanding of symptoms.  An untrested anaphylactic reaction often results in severe impairment or death.

Common anaphylaxis triggers include the following examples:

  • Foods (i.e., nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, egg, etc)
  • Venoms (i.e., stinging insects)
  • Medications (i.e., NSAIDs)
  • Rubber latex
  • Radiocontrast media
  • Physical factors (i.e., exercise, cold, heat, sunlight, emotional stress)
  • Ethanol (i.e., wine, beer)
  • Medications