What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe, sometimes life-threatening, allergic reaction that affects the whole body. During an allergic reaction, the body releases histamines and other chemicals that defend against an allergen. Allergens are substances that the immune system recognizes as foreign or dangerous. They vary greatly, and can include dust, pollen, insect bites or stings, food and drugs. Normally, allergy symptoms are not life-threatening, but some reactions are severe and can lead to anaphylaxis.
What are the symptoms of Anaphylaxis?
Symptoms typically develop quickly, and can include, but are not limited to: hives or itchiness, a weak or rapid pulse, changes in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, nasal congestion and/or dizziness. People suffering from anaphylaxis can also experience swelling of the face, tongue or throat, which can lead to wheezing or difficulty breathing.
How is anaphylaxis treated?
Anaphylaxis is an emergency situation, and treatment must be sought immediately. If you stop breathing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be performed. Anaphylaxis is also treated with medications such as epinephrine, antihistamines or beta-agonists.
If an individual experiences anaphylaxis within four hours of receiving a vaccination, he or she may have an on-Table Claim as outlined in the Vaccine Injury Table.