HomeCampaignFood allergy and the holidays 2023Knowing when and how to treat anaphylaxis

Knowing when and how to treat anaphylaxis

Since reactions can happen despite best efforts, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that has the potential to be life-threatening, and know how to treat it.  

Epinephrine is the only medicine that can reverse symptoms of anaphylaxis and is considered life-saving medication. Canadian allergists advise that an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®, ALLERJECT®) is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis and should be used before asthmas inhalers, antihistamines, or any other medication.  

However, research informs us that epinephrine is underused in treating allergic reactions due to a variety of reasons, including lack of clarity around the signs and symptoms of a reaction, and not having an epinephrine auto-injector on hand.

Here are some staggering facts:

Pre-hospital use of epinephrine is low: 

  • EMS usage of epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis in Canada is only 36%  
  • Only 21% of children and 7% of adults globally use their auto-injector prior to going to the hospital
  • Prompt use of epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis improves health outcomes, yet only 1-in-5 children and less than 1-in-10 adults use it before they go to the hospital

Anaphylaxis management issues: 

  • 25% of first-time reactions occur at school/daycares 
  • Children who did not receive prompt administration of epinephrine were more than 2x more likely to be admitted to the hospital 
We have increased the number of epinephrine auto-injector brands available in Canada to ensure there is access and choice.
Yet there are Canadians who do not know how to recognize signs and symptoms or know how to treat anaphylaxis – and therefore, are hesitating in using their epinephrine auto-injectors.

We need your help to ensure everyone knows how to recognize and treat anaphylaxis with life-saving medication, epinephrine. 

It could help save a life.

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