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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Allergies > Anaphylaxis

Be S.A.F.E. Action Guide

Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe allergic reaction that affects many parts of the body at once. For some people, especially those who have asthma, it can take just one to two minutes for symptoms of an allergic reaction to develop into anaphylaxis. That’s why it is so important to know how to respond.

Allergists and emergency physicians have teamed up to create the Be S.A.F.E. action guide to help you remember steps to take during and after an allergic emergency. Click here to read or print the new Be S.A.F.E. brochure,which describes each of the action steps:

Seek immediate medical helpCall 911 and get to the nearest emergency facility at the first sign of anaphylaxis, even if you have already administered epinephrine, the drug used to treat severe allergic reactions. If you have had an anaphylactic reaction in the past, you are at risk of future reactions.

 

Identify the Allergen

Think about what you might have eaten or come in contact with – food, insect sting, medication, latex – to trigger an allergic reaction. It is particularly important to identify the cause because the best way to prevent anaphylaxis is to avoid its trigger.

 

Follow up with a specialist

Ask your doctor for a referral to an allergist/immunologist, a physician who specializes in treating asthma and allergies. It is important that you consult an allergist for testing, diagnosis and ongoing management of your allergic disease.

 

Carry Epinephrine for emergencies

Kits containing fast-acting, self-administered epinephrine are commonly prescribed for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis. Make sure that you carry an epinephrine kit with you at all times, and that family and friends know of your condition, your triggers and how to use epinephrine. Consider wearing an emergency medical bracelet or necklace identifying yourself as a person at risk of anaphylaxis. Teachers and other caregivers should be informed of children who are at risk for anaphylaxis and know what to do in an allergic emergency.

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