How to stay safe with allergy and anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis, the most severe form of allergic reaction, occurs when our immune system reacts to an allergen or allergy trigger. It must be treated as a medical emergency, as it can be life threatening. Our resources identify actions that people can take to stay safe after experiencing anaphylaxis.
More than 11,500 people visit Australian emergency departments each year because of anaphylaxis. The Commission has developed user-friendly resources to help people who are at risk of anaphylaxis to identify actions they can take to reduce their risk, and to know what to do if they experience an episode of anaphylaxis.
Our resources support the national Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard, which describes the care that people should expect to receive if they experience anaphylaxis.
Steps to stay safe
It is important for people to know what to do after experiencing anaphylaxis. Our resources will help educate people who are at risk of anaphylaxis to manage their condition safely.
If you are at risk, have a conversation with your healthcare professional to ensure you are kept safe and feel equipped to manage your allergy. This includes knowing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, knowing your allergy triggers and knowing what to do if you have symptoms. It is also vital to keep your adrenaline injector with you at all times, if you have been advised by your clinician to have one.
Five steps to stay safe after anaphylaxis
If you have had anaphylaxis, it is important to know what you need to do to manage your allergy and stay safe, especially after a hospital visit for anaphylaxis.
- Know the signs and symptoms – they can differ each time
- Manage your allergy and avoid triggers – to prevent future episodes
- Have an ASCIA Action Plan – so you, or others, can act fast in an emergency
- Always keep your adrenaline injector close by – and know how to use it
- Follow-up with your GP and specialist – to know how to best manage your allergy
Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions.
Our consumer guide explains what the Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard means for patients with anaphylaxis, or suspected anaphylaxis.
Read the consumer guide for more information and resources on the care described in the clinical care standard. Clinicians can also provide this guide to their patients.
Find out five key steps to stay safe if you have allergies and are at risk of anaphylaxis. Our poster outlines what you need to know after an episode of anaphylaxis and where to find more information.
Health services can print this poster and display in their hospital, clinic or practice waiting room, to increase awareness of how to stay safe after anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis discharge checklist and discussion tool
This practical checklist explains what you need to do when you leave hospital to go home after anaphylaxis.
Before you leave hospital, your healthcare professional will use this checklist to have a conversation about how you can manage your allergy and reduce your future risk of anaphylaxis, and make sure you know what you can do to stay safe when you go home.
See our highlights infographic for key data findings on anaphylaxis in Australia. You can find more communication resources on our Anaphylaxis Campaign web page.
More useful resources and information for clinicians and health services are on our Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard web page. Information for consumers is included in each of the quality statements.
Other practical resources for consumers are available from:
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA)
- A&AA provide information and advice about living with allergy and anaphylaxis including leaflets, videos, training
- Call the information and advice line 1300 728 000 or visit www.allergyfacts.org.au
Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)
- Patient information
- Anaphylaxis for patients, consumer and carers (translated resources)
- Anaphylaxis fact sheet for parents (English and other languages)
National Allergy Strategy
- Training and information about allergies and anaphylaxis
- Information about food allergies
After an anaphylaxis event, you may want to:
- Keep a record of the anaphylaxis event to give your doctor or other health professional, using ASCIA's Anaphylaxis Event Record form
- Add allergy information to your My Health Record, following guidance from the National Allergy Strategy
- Report an allergic reaction from food eaten at a restaurant or café, via Food Allergy Education reporting.