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What should you do in the event of a serious allergic reaction?

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Quick Answer

In the event of a severe allergic reaction, the patient or another person should seek emergency medical care immediately, inject epinephrine if the patient has it and perform CPR if the patient stops breathing, according to WebMD. Afterwards, the patient should report the reaction to their doctor.

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Full Answer

A person who has had a severe allergic reaction should get emergency care even if there are no symptoms, WebMD advises. Other symptoms that require emergency medical treatment include itchy skin that develops hives, vomiting or nausea, abdominal pain and loss of consciousness. Other serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightening in the throat or airway, a racing heartbeat and swollen lips, throat or tongue.

Sometimes patients with severe allergies have created an action plan for a severe reaction, which should be followed, WebMD explains. If the patient carries an epinephrine injection, someone should give it to him if the patient cannot do it. The medication should be injected in the thigh muscle. Sometimes a patient requires more than one shot. If symptoms do not improve after five to 15 minutes for an adult or five to 20 minutes for a child, a second injection may be required.

If the patient stops breathing, CPR should be started until help arrives, WebMD says. After a patient is treated, someone should stay with him for 24 hours in case of another episode.

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