Allergic diseases are chronic processes that significantly affect the quality of life of people of any age and constitute a true “non-infectious” epidemic in the 21st century. The alterations observed affect the physical, emotional, social and psychic environment of the patients, and produce, among other things, absenteeism from school and work, alterations in night rest, loss of concentration and learning difficulties.
The most frequent allergic diseases are respiratory (rhinoconjunctivitis and allergic bronchial asthma), but lately an increase in allergies is being observed with generalized manifestations – anaphylactic reactions – that can become serious, compromising the life of the patient.
Food and medicine, mainly, and stings of hymenoptera, such as bees or wasps, are the main triggers for this allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and, despite its severity and possible consequences, it is a poorly recognized pathology and inadequately treated on many occasions.
The difficulty in diagnosing anaphylaxis is that there is no defined set of signs. What is typical is the rapid progression in the severity or intensity of the symptoms, a valid characteristic for children and adults. Anaphylaxis should be suspected when a syndrome that affects the skin and / or mucous membranes and the respiratory and / or circulatory system appears in a short period of time and acutely. As most anaphylaxis occur with skin symptoms, with this criterion at least 80% of the reactions would be identified.
The success of the treatment of an anaphylactic reaction depends on the preparation of the caregiver, the early recognition of the clinical picture, and early and aggressive treatment. Intramuscular epinephrine is the most effective regimen for its treatment, since it is capable of preventing bronchospasm and cardiovascular collapse.
Patients diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis reactions should carry self-injectable epinephrine in order to use them in case of reaction. Also, after emergency care, all patients who have suffered an episode of anaphylaxis should be evaluated by an allergist.