What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction – at the extreme end of the allergic spectrum. The whole body is affected, often within minutes of exposure to the allergen but sometimes after hours. Food is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, but insect stings, medicine, latex, or exercise can also cause a reaction. First aid for insect bites and stings

Our Online Anaphylaxis Awareness course provides more information on the causes and symptoms of Anaphylaxis.

An anaphylactic reaction is caused by the sudden release of chemical substances, including histamine, from cells in the blood and tissues where they are stored.

This causes a wide range of signs and symptoms. Here’s a comprehensive list of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Rapid or weak pulse
  • Cyanosis, especially the lips or nail beds
  • Fainting, light-headedness, dizziness
  • Hives (urticaria) and generalized itching
  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations (sensation of feeling the heart beat)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Skin redness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing
  • Convulsions / seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cardiac arrest

Want to learn more about anaphylaxis? Sign up for our Free Online First Aid Training courses! You’ll even be able to download a free first aid / CPR certificate on completion of the course – awesome! 

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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