Paramedics Course – Anaphylaxis


Micro Lecture by the Australian Paramedical College:

In this micro-lecture, we discuss the condition Anaphylaxis and the MAST cell. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition caused by your body’s over reaction to something that is actually not harmful. Enrolled students have unlimited access to a rich library of learning materials such as this.

Anaphylaxis Shock – MAST Cell – Inflammation

In today’s micro lecture we’re going to talk about the condition Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition caused by your body’s over reaction to something that is actually not harmful.

So Anaphylaxis, the symptoms of Anaphylaxis occur all because of this cell called the mast cell. M-A-S-T cell.

Now the mast cell inside has got these things called mediators that respond to a situation where your body is being attacked. Now unfortunately, when your body thinks it’s being attacked, by something as simple as a peanut, or a bee sting or another allergen.

An allergen is just something that is external that comes in and your body thinks it’s basically something that does attack your body. When your body has this condition of when you have Anaphylaxis your body over reacts.

This mast cell is activated. So inside this mast cell you’ve got things like histamine. I’m sure you’ve all heard of histamine before. You can buy the anti-histamines over the counter.

You also have these things called interleukin’s and prostoglandines. You can go away and read around these things at any time. When you come into contact with the allergen, so the peanuts, the bee sting, whatever it is, it activates the mast cell, which causes openings in the mast cell.

So the mast cell wall starts to destabilize and starts to degranulate. Now once it’s open, all the internal things we’ve just mentioned.

The histamine, the prostoglandines the interleukin’s, they open up and the mast cell opens up and they all come out and they flood into your bloodstream, and they produce the immune system response of inflammation.

It’s all designed to protect your body when it really is being attacked by something that it needs to be protecting you from.

Like I said, with Anaphylaxis it’s an over reaction to something that’s not life threatening like pollen, even for example.

Now, Anaphylaxis is actually linked really closely to exmir and asthma, and hay fever. There all part of the same family. It’s your body’s immune system that’s over reacting.

Now when you have a patient who’s got Anaphylaxis, Anaphylaxis really is the life threatened version of allergic reaction. These patients will have swollen eyes, they’ll have swollen lips, they’ll have swollen tongues, they’ll have swollen throats.

They may have one or all of these. And these patients really do require a fast treatment. They require you guys to be providing adrenaline really, really quickly.

Adrenaline really is the drug that’s going to bring this patient out of this. How adrenaline works is it stabilizes that mast cell wall, stopping it getting even worse, and it stops the blood vessels becoming leaky so all these things we talked about the interleukin’s, the histamine, they create your blood vessels to be leaky which is what drops your blood pressure.

Of course the adrenaline which is a wonderful drug it stabilizes that mast cell wall and it re-solidifies that leakiness, so it stops your blood pressure from dropping any further.

It all works because you’re giving it inter-muscularly it works within a number of minutes. So it’s an amazing drug. So you need to recognize Anaphylaxis, give the IM adrenaline quickly.

Manage the airway, secondary to the IM, and of course you can do that with your crew-mates or one of you can manage the airway, one of you can draw up the adrenaline if you’re working in pairs.

Give some oxygen if there’s signs of hypoxia, then gently recover your patient as they’re coming around.

Okay I hope you’ve enjoyed this micro lecture on Anaphylaxis, my name is Sam Willis. I will speak to you again shortly.

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