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    First Aid & Emergencies

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    Severe Allergic Reaction Treatment

    Call 911

    For a minor allergic reaction, see Allergic Reaction Treatment.

    1. Seek emergency care

    Get immediate help if the person has these symptoms or a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) even if there are no symptoms:

    2. Inject Epinephrine Immediately

    Inject immediately at first sign of anaphylaxis. The injection cannot harm them if it is a false alarm, but could save their life. If the person has an anaphylaxis action plan from a doctor for injecting epinephrine and other emergency measures, follow it.

    Otherwise, if the person carries an epinephrine shot -- it's a good idea to always carry two shots -- or one is available:

    • Inject epinephrine if the person is unable to.
    • If the person has a history of anaphylaxis, don't wait for signs of a severe reaction to inject epinephrine.
    • Read and follow patient instructions carefully.
    • Inject epinephrine into outer muscle of the thigh. Avoid injecting into a vein or buttock muscles.
    • Do not inject medicine into hands or feet, which can cause tissue damage. If this happens, notify the emergency room staff.
    • The person may need more than one injection if there’s no improvement after the first. For an adult, inject again after 5 to 15 minutes. For a child, inject again after 5 to 20 minutes.

    3. Do CPR if the Person Stops Breathing

    4. Follow Up

    • Make sure that someone stays with the person for 24 hours after anaphylaxis in case of another attack.
    • Report the reaction to the person's doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 19, 2015

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