A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis is a life-threatening medical emergency which requires immediate treatment. Symptoms to watch out for are breathing difficulty as the airways block, dizziness and fainting caused by a drop in blood pressure. This allergic reaction is often accompanied by a red, itchy rash and swelling, something that can also happen in less serious peanut allergies.
It may be while abroad and eating in restaurants that you suffer an allergic reaction to peanuts and if this is the case then you might be eligible for travel accident compensation.
What to do
- Mild reactions
Avoid peanuts or whatever is causing the effect – if you’re not sure then try to figure it out by a process of elimination.Use anti-histamines at the first sign of a bad reaction to peanuts.
- Serious anaphylactic reactions
Anti-histamines may not work quickly enough or be sufficient
Use adrenaline in the form of an injection of epinephrine (usually given into the outer muscle of the thigh) this will give relief within minutes and prevent further chemicals being released into the blood. Adrenaline pens are also available as auto-injectors for those known to be at risk – make sure they are not out of date.
If the initial adrenaline shot doesn’t work it is recommended to give another one five minutes later since the effects wear off quickly.
Those who receive emergency adrenaline should also be taken to hospital. Call the emergency services and let them know that anaphylaxis is the issue. Get the patient to lie down while waiting for the ambulance to maintain blood pressure and avoid additional injury from falling.
In hospital appropriate treatment will be given such as fluids, oxygen and corticosteroids.
There can be delayed reactions even if the adrenaline was effective so it is important to keep the patient in for observation.
Although the research is a bit patchy there are suggestions that immunotherapy could work by increasing doses of peanut-containing food over a time. There are suggestions that if started on at-risk children between the ages of 4 and 11 months this can have significant effects.
Accident Advice Helpline is a firm specialising in compensation claims for all sorts of injuries, whether they are caused by slips, trips and falls or road traffic accidents. We have years of experience working in this field so why not call our 24/7 helpline today on 0800 689 0500 and speak to one of our friendly advisors.