Anaphylactic shock symptoms need to be recognised early so that treatment can start early!
Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock
Most signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis can be broken down into these categories:
GIT effects of anaphylaxis include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe abdominal cramping. The increased GIT activity is related to smooth muscle contraction, increased mucous production, and the outpouring of fluid from the gut wall into the intestinal lumen, initiated by chemical mediators.
Respiratory effects of anaphylaxis include: sneezing and coughing, bronchospasm as a result of bronchoconstriction, through to complete airway obstruction, secondary to laryngeal and epiglottic oedema
Nervous system effects of anaphylaxis include: a sense of impending doom, agitation, confusion, syncope, and unconsciousness as a result of impaired gas exchange leading to systemic and neurological hypoxia.
Cardiovascular effects of anaphylaxis include: hypotension through to vascular collapse and profound shock, dysrhythmias, associated with the severe hypoxia and intravascular hypovloaemia. The patient may complain of chest pain if myocardia ischemia develops.
Cutaneous effects of anaphylaxis include: erythema and urticaria that results in well-circumscribed wheals of 1-6cm, which may be more reddened or pallid than the surrounding skin and are often accompanied by severe pruritus and pyrexia.