Anaphylaxis Emergency Treatment: 6 Essential Steps

You’re at a restaurant, and the person at the next table is having a severe allergic reaction to something he ate. His lips are swollen, his face is covered in a red rash, and he’s wheezing. He collapses to the floor. Everyone stares, not sure what to do. Would you know what steps to take?

Most people wouldn’t. Here are 6 steps to take to help save the life of someone experiencing anaphylaxis.

Six Steps in the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis infographic EN


According to a national poll conducted by Ipsos Reid and commissioned by Allerject, almost two-thirds of Canadians (63%) say they wouldn’t know exactly what to do in this situation.

The survey also found that:

  • Half (50%) of Canadians feel they would be unable to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
  • A similar percentage (51%) say they wouldn’t know how to use an epinephrine auto-injector.
  • Four in ten (39%) say they’d be afraid of injecting someone with an auto-injector incorrectly and hurting or harming the individual.

Since anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate help, this lack of knowledge and training is worrisome. Because so many people are allergic today (about 2.5 million Canadians self-report a food allergy), any one of us could be called on to assist someone having a severe allergic reaction.

In response to this need, a team of young adults who live with food allergies has been mobilized to help educate the public. Through media interviews and appearances in major centers across Canada, Team Allerject is raising awareness and informing Canadians about the steps to take in an allergy emergency. “It’s great to see young people engage the community in public awareness about anaphylaxis. Knowing what to do in case of an emergency can help save a life,” says Beatrice Povolo, Director of Marketing and Communications with Anaphylaxis Canada.



Read More: Our Anaphylaxis Story


Do you feel more prepared now for when anaphylaxis hits?

FROM: Allergies


  1. Patricia Ames on June 16, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I have shared this link. My son aged 39 had an anaphylatic shock four days ago. Very frightening. Called 999. Had no idea what to do, no epi-pen. Was talked through by telephone emergency operator. My son was choking and blue. Emergency services arrived and he was taken to hospital. Everyone knows about a heart attack, but so little about anaphylatic shock and the outcome is just as serious.

    • Jennifer Roberge on June 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear this Patricia! So very scary!I hope that everything turned out alright that your son has recovered quickly. You are right, allergies are on the rise and we need to educate more about how to handle an anaphylactic episode.

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