First Aid for Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions can be mild, but severe allergies that cause anaphylaxis may require first aid.
Causes: A rapid, severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, may occur when a person who is extremely sensitive to a particular substance, such as insect venom, comes in contact with it.
Symptoms: May include swollen lips, tongue, or ears; uneasiness or agitation; red face; hives; prickling and itching in throat and skin; throbbing or ringing in ears; sneezing; coughing; breathing difficulty; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; loss of bowel or bladder control; convulsions; weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy skin; unresponsiveness. Without immediate medical treatment, victim may die.
Call for EMS at the first sign of allergic reaction.
Monitor ABCs (see ABCs).
Help a responsive victim use their emergency epinephrine kit.
- Have victim lie down, and cover them lightly with a blanket. If shortness of breath occurs, have victim sit up.
To learn more about first aid and emergency care, see: