Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening, allergic reaction which occurs in response to foods, insect stings, medications, IV contrast dyes, etc. Patients typically experience rapid onset of shock (low blood pressure), hives (urticaria), swelling (angioedema), bronchospasm (asthma attacks), and abdominal cramping. The cause for the anaphylactic attacks should be determined and avoided and life saving emergency medication should be provided. All patients experiencing an anaphylactic episode must be treated and observed in an emergency setting. An allergist can help identify the cause of anaphylaxis, give advise on avoidance strategies to prevent future exposures, and provide patients with life-saving emergency medications.