Document Detail

Anaphylaxis: can we tell who is at risk of a fatal reaction?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15238794     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Anaphylaxis is frightening and patients commonly fear their next reaction will be fatal. This review looks at the characteristics of fatal reactions to find if a fatal recurrence is predictable. RECENT FINDINGS: Most publications on fatal anaphylaxis are case reports that do not help predict risks. Most epidemiological studies focus on non-fatal reactions. The UK fatal anaphylaxis register demonstrates that over two-thirds of those dying from sting reactions and over four-fifths dying from drug anaphylaxis had no previous indication of their allergy, whereas those dying from food allergy had usually had previous reactions but these were typically not severe. Recent reports of anaphylaxis epidemiology based on diagnostic coding or attendance for treatment may be biased by differences in health service resource utilization according to the cause and course of the reaction. SUMMARY: Most fatal anaphylactic reactions are unpredictable. The appropriate management after recovery from a severe reaction may be protective against a fatal recurrence. An accurate identification of the cause and effective avoidance is a crucial part of this management, together with effective treatment of asthma for those with food allergy, immunotherapy for sting allergy, the avoidance of drugs that potentiate anaphylaxis, and effective training in self-treatment.
Richard Pumphrey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1528-4050     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol     Publication Date:  2004 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-07-07     Completed Date:  2004-11-10     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100936359     Medline TA:  Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  285-90     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Immunology, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Anaphylaxis / epidemiology*,  etiology,  mortality
Asthma / etiology
Food Hypersensitivity / complications
Great Britain / epidemiology
Risk Factors
Sex Factors
Survival Rate

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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