In the emergency setting, anaphylaxis is a dangerous, life threatening condition that must be treated in an aggressive and timely fashion. Anaphylaxis is a condition related to acute allergic reactions. Following the body’s exposure to the offending allergen, there are common systemic reactions. The most serious reactions involve the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but the gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and genitourinary systems are often involved causing varied symptoms such as urticaria, flushing, angioedema, bronchospasm, hypotension, cardiac arrythmias, nausea, intestinal cramps, pruritus, and finally uterine cramps. (Physician Assistant, 8/94) The above list is by no means exhaustive, specific symptoms vary from person to person. The same person suffering from several anaphylactic reactions can also present with differing symptoms.
Physiologically speaking, the two main effects of the body’s released mediators (IgE) dur...