Poem – What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock

Is a severe allergic reaction

That can occur after an insect sting

Whatever you do please take action.


Perhaps after eating seafood or eggs

Nuts, milk, fish or fruit

The reaction can be very fast

The signs & symptoms acute.


Bananas, grapes and strawberries

Almonds, Brazil or cashew

Hair from an animal who knows?

Hazel nuts or walnuts too.


Happening within seconds or minutes

Making the casualty unwell

They may find it difficult to breathe

Their tongue and throat may swell.


Causing obstruction to their airway

If in doubt it’s anaphylactic shock

Call one one two or nine nine nine

But if conscious perhaps they can talk.


Make sure they are sitting comfortably

Ask for as much information

Some people who are fully aware

Carry their own medication.


Epinephrine is a kind of adrenaline

Usually comes in a preloaded syringe

You can either help the person administer

But be careful not to infringe.


If you’ve been trained to do so

Administer their medication, fine

But if in doubt just call them out

One twelve or nine nine nine.


Remember if the person is conscious

Sitting upright is the best position

What does adrenaline do you ask?

To save a life it’s ammunition.


Adrenaline causes the blood vessels to

Constrict become narrower which raises

Your blood pressure and reduces swelling

You can watch it going through the stages.


It causes the airways to open

Relieving breathing difficulties and so

Saving the person from dying

What is Anaphylaxis? Now you know.


Bill Mckechnie

Former First Aider for Lancaster Ambulance www.wild-bill.co.uk


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