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19th May 2017, Orange Wig Day- Anaphylaxis and Allergy Awareness

Orange Wig Day aims to show solidarity and raise money for people living with allergies. For information on the anaphylaxis campaign and allergy awareness visit http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/

What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be potentially life threatening. It occurs due to exposure to allergens such as food or other substances. Anaphylaxis affects the heart, airways, circulation, gut and skin. Rarely, a reaction may occur hours after initial exposure to the substance that someone is allergic to.

What are the Causes?

Anaphylaxis can be caused by a variety of things, including foods, non-food items and even exercise.


Common foods that can cause an allergic reaction are tree nuts (including walnuts, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts), non-tree nuts (including peanuts), sesame, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy products.


Non-food causes can include Insect stings, like wasp stings and bee stings, latex, natural rubber and medications/drugs (including penicillin).


Certain people can sometimes suffer a reaction when they exercise. This can occur when combined with other factors but it can also occur on its own.

What are the Symptoms?

It is important to bear in mind that not all symptoms occur together. Serious symptoms include a dramatic fall in blood pressure and in some cases, the person may become floppy and weak, or may lose consciousness altogether. Other symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Skin flushing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of throat and mouth
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Difficulty in speaking/ swallowing
  • Alterations in heart rate
  • Severe asthma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting


Anaphylaxis is serious and prompt treatment is essential. 999 needs to be called. The casualty needs to sit or preferably lie down with their legs raised and Adrenaline needs to be given via an injection. The person should be carrying their own Adrenaline Auto Injector with them which they should administer into the upper outer quarter of the thigh. There are different brands of Adrenaline available, Epipen, Jext or Emerade but all contain one single dose of the drug.
Please keep the individual lying down until professional help arrives.


HTS Training specialises in delivering quality first aid training courses. Our in-depth courses include anaphylaxis first aid, work related first aid training, paediatric first aid and many others. To find out how to undertake excellent first aid training at your convenience, contact HTS Training for more information.


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