Anaphylactic shock is an immediate allergic reaction; an acute pathological condition that occurs when the allergen is re-penetrated, resulting in severe hemodynamic disorders and hypoxia. Another name for anaphylactic shock is anaphylaxis.
In simple terms, anaphylactic shock is a very strong and rapid reaction to an allergen, as a result of which a person can die without immediate intervention. Quite often, anaphylactic shock is caused by drugs (drug allergy).
On average, there are 5 cases of anaphylactic shock per 100 thousand people per year. It may seem that this is extremely small, but it is worth considering the high mortality rate (about 10-20%).
Possible causes of anaphylactic shock
- Administration of drugs, i.e. drug allergy. These can be antibacterial and hormonal agents, vaccines, anesthetics, enzyme preparations, contrast agents for X-rays and tomograms, penicillin-containing antibiotics, etc.
- Food allergy. Anaphylactic shock can occur due to the use of food allergens. among them are quite common: eggs, milk, soy and peanuts, fish and seafood, as well as implicit: food additives, biologics, dyes and flavors. food allergies can pass with age (if found in children), for example, to milk, eggs and peanuts.
- Additional reasons:
- Physical factors. Anaphylaxis can develop due to constant physical factors affecting a person, whether it is hard work with loads, excessive cold or heat, exhausting training, etc. And also-when combining certain foods and physical activities, for example, shrimp, white bread or celery and the subsequent load in the form of work in the garden, running, swimming, football match, etc.
- Allergic to latex. And here we are not just talking about costumes for bad boys and girls. Latex is also rubber gloves, catheters, splint products, etc.
- bites and stings-snakes and insects (bees, bumblebees, ants, etc.) anaphylactic shock from bee stinging is a fairly common phenomenon. Therefore, beekeepers need to be extremely careful. And not only them. Allergy is caused by a poison that enters the human body after being bitten or stung.
Symptoms of anaphylactic shock
anaphylactic shock can manifest various symptoms within a few minutes or even several hours. As a rule, the first symptom is a pronounced reaction at the site of contact with the allergen – sharp pain, severe swelling, swelling, redness at the site of drug injection or insect bite, rapidly spreading or very strong spot itching, an extremely sharp and noticeable decrease in blood pressure. If the allergen is ingested, the first symptoms may be: sharp abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, swelling of the larynx and oral cavity.
after that, there is a strong swelling of the larynx (if it has not already happened), bronchospasm and laryngospasm, which leads to the fact that breathing becomes more difficult – breathing becomes rapid, noisy and hoarse; the person begins to choke: the skin turns pale, lips turn blue, blood pressure drops. A person can easily lose consciousness.
anaphylactic shock develops very quickly and can lead to death in a few minutes after the allergen enters the body. As mentioned just above, the process can take several hours.
symptoms of anaphylactic shock may differ from person to person, as they depend on the characteristics of each individual (age, sensitivity to allergen, other diseases, etc.).)
4 degrees of severity of anaphylaxis
There are four of them:
I degree: systolic (upper pressure, shows the pressure in the arteries at the moment when the heart contracts and pushes blood into the arteries) blood pressure is reduced slightly (by 20-40 mm Hg), there is a violation of consciousness, dry throat, cough, chest pain, a feeling of fever. Possible skin rash.
II degree: systolic blood pressure is reduced more significantly (by 60-80 mm Hg), and diastolic (lower pressure, shows the pressure at the moment of relaxation of the heart muscle) is reduced by 40 mm Hg.There is a feeling of fear, weakness, dizziness. Possible Quincke’s edema (an extremely dangerous reaction, which is a very strong edema). The stomach and lower back can be very painful, there is a problem with going to the toilet (small and large).
Grade III: upper blood pressure is reduced to 40-60 mm Hg, and diastolic-to 0. A person’s pupils dilate, his skin becomes cold and sticky. Then there is a loss of consciousness, and the pulse becomes threadlike (frequent or almost indistinguishable heart rate). Possible convulsions.
IV degree: the development of anaphylactic shock occurs at lightning speed – there is no question of hours. A person loses consciousness almost immediately, blood pressure and pulse are determined with great difficulty, heart activity and breathing are practically absent or absent completely. To save a person’s life, resuscitation is urgently required.
if a person has a severe allergy, and he may have an anaphylactic shock, he should always have a medicine with him, which, no matter how banal it may sound, can save his life at a critical moment. for example, it can be epinephrine (epinephrine). in foreign films, the use of epipen (epinephrine autoinjector) is common, but in our country it is not sold in pharmacies.
attention! this article is written for informational purposes. If you have a suspected allergy, contact your doctor.