Purpose of this guideline
The UK incidence of anaphylactic reactions is rising. Despite previous guidelines, there is confusion about the diagnosis, treatment, investigation and follow-up of patients who have an anaphylactic reaction.
This guideline replaces the previous guidance from the Resuscitation Council UK:
The emergency medical treatment of anaphylactic reactions for first medical responders and for community nurses (originally published July 1999, revised January 2002, May 2005).
This guideline gives:
- An updated consensus about the recognition and treatment of anaphylactic reactions.
- A greater focus on the treatments that a patient having an anaphylactic reaction should receive. There is less emphasis on specifying treatments according to which specific groups of healthcare providers should give them.
- Recommendations for treatment that are simple to learn and easy to implement, and that will be appropriate for most anaphylactic reactions.
There are no randomised controlled clinical trials in humans providing unequivocal evidence for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions; moreover, such evidence is unlikely to be forthcoming in the near future. Nonetheless, there is a wealth of experience and systematic reviews of the limited evidence that can be used as a resource.
This guideline will not cover every possible scenario involving an anaphylactic reaction; the guidance has been written to be as simple as possible to enable improved teaching, learning and implementation. Improved implementation should benefit more patients who have an anaphylactic reaction.