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I’m sure you have heard of people having allergies, however depending on the severity of that allergy and what that allergy is, a very serious reaction could occur. This is called anaphylaxis or having an anaphylactic reaction. These are very serious, and you must tell staff and call for an ambulance straight away. Typical allergens which cause this are peanuts, dairy and bee-stings, but others do exist.

Signs and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction include itchy skin, red rashes, swelling of the face and body, breathing difficulties and eventually collapsing and becoming unconscious. Initial treatment for an anaphylactic reaction includes using an auto-injector. People who have been diagnosed with a severe allergy should have been trained to always carry an auto-injector with them at all times. These administer a drug called adrenaline which helps the body to stop the reaction occurring.

There are 3 types of auto injectors, the EpiPen, the Jext and the Emerade. Each of these are slightly different and are administered slightly differently. However all of them have quick but comprehensive instructions printed on the sides, so it is always worth a very quick read just to remind yourself how to use it. To use the EpiPen, remove the safety cap and firmly push it into the thigh. Hold it in for three seconds and then pull it back out. Then next is the Jext. Remove the yellow cap, place the black end against the thigh and push in for a slow count to 10. Then remove the Jext unit and, unlike the EpiPen, rub the area for 10 seconds to help the medicine diffuse around the body. Finally, the Emerade should be placed against the thigh and pressed in for 5 seconds. Then remove it and rub the area.

Some people who are having an anaphylactic reaction will administer their auto-injector themselves, but others may want a friend to do it for them. Also, some people may carry two auto-injectors, just in case the first one either isn’t working, or is not enough to battle the reaction. Remember, anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and you should always make sure that an ambulance has been called.