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THE Manch­ester Weekly News has teamed up with St John Am­bu­lance, the na­tion’s lead­ing first aid char­ity to bring you some sim­ple, but life sav­ing, first aid tips. This week: Recog­nis­ing and deal­ing with ana­phy­lac­tic shock:

Ana­phy­lac­tic shock is a se­vere al­ler­gic reaction which af­fects the whole body.

In sus­cep­ti­ble in­di­vid­u­als it may de­velop within sec­onds or min­utes of con­tact with the trig­ger fac­tor and is po­ten­tially fa­tal.

Pos­si­ble trig­gers can in­clude skin or air­borne con­tact with par­tic­u­lar ma­te­ri­als, the in­jec­tion of a spe­cific drug, the sting of a cer­tain in­sect or the in­ges­tion of a food such as peanuts.

To help recog­nise ana­phy­lac­tic shock in a ca­su­alty, look for the fol­low­ing symp­toms:

● Im­paired breath­ing – this may range from a tight chest to se­vere dif­fi­culty

● Wheez­ing or gasp­ing for air ● Signs of shock ● Wide­spread blotchy skin erup­tion

● Swelling of the tongue and throat

● Puffi­ness around the eye

● Anx­i­ety

To help, fol­lows th­ese sim­ple steps:

1. Dial 999/112 for emer­gency help.

2. Give the op­er­a­tor any in­for­ma­tion you have on the cause of the ca­su­alty’s con­di­tion.

3. Check whether the ca­su­alty is car­ry­ing any nec­es­sary med­i­ca­tion. If she is, help them to use it.

If the ca­su­alty is con­scious:

Help her to sit up in a po­si­tion that most relieves any breath­ing dif­fi­culty, this is usu­ally sit­ting up and lean­ing for­ward slightly

If the ca­su­alty be­comes un­con­scious:

1. Open the air­way and check breath­ing.

2. If the ca­su­alty is breath­ing nor­mally, place them in the re­cov­ery po­si­tion.

3. If the ca­su­alty is not breath­ing, be­gin CPR. ●

For those look­ing for quick, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble first aid in­for­ma­tion, the St John Am­bu­lance app is avail­able free on smart­phones and the web­site ( of­fers demo videos, an in­ter­ac­tive game, and lots of free ad­vice. For more in­for­ma­tion about first aid cour­ses please call 0844 770 4800.

A child posed to dis­play some of the tell-tale signs of ana­phy­lac­tic shock

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