Shock of a Lifetime

Anaphylactic shock can claim a life in less than five minutes. It is a severe type of allergic reaction that occurs within seconds after a person comes into contact with an allergen, triggering a massive immune system response. High levels of histamines and other substances flood the body and cause a rapid systemic failure, which leads to an immediate drop in blood pressure, swelling of the tongue, throat and eyes, difficulty breathing, shock, and if left untreated, death. Allergens can be types of food, animals, insects or even certain types of drugs.

Brandi recounts how her 20-month-old son, Ryan, had an allergic reaction while she remained frozen with fear. But big brother, Alex (only three years old!), knew exactly what to do. He ran and grabbed the Epi-Pen that his father taught him how to use, thrust it into Ryan’s thigh, and saved his life!

The Epi-Pen contains a large dosage of epinephrine, or adrenaline, which counters the effects of the histamine reaction. However, the Epi-Pen is not a solution; it just buys you time to get to the emergency room. The important thing to remember is that every minute counts, so make sure to act quickly and get the victim to a hospital immediately.

Learn how to keep your home allergen-free.