Updated 29 May 2017

Allergy alert

Certain people may develop a life-threatening allergic reaction to certain foods, medications or insect stings.

If you're in the company of someone who suffers severe anaphylactic shock, it's important to act quickly.

Take action:

  • Get the person to hospital immediately
  • Check to see if they are wearing a Medic-Alert bracelet, or ask what they are allergic to
  • Check whether they're carrying any self-treatment to counter the effects of the allergic reaction
  • If conscious, help them into a sitting position to make it easier to breathe
  • Encourage slow and deep breathing
  • Give an antihistamine pill, if it’s available and they can swallow
  • Administer mouth-to-mouth breathing or CPR if necessary

Read more: Anaphylaxis


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Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

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