IDENTIFY A CASUALTY WITH ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK
When you examine (survey) a casualty who has been bitten or stung by an
arthropod, watch for signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis).
Anaphylactic shock is an unusually severe allergic reaction to a foreign substance, such
as the venom of an arthropod. Anaphylactic shock can occur within minutes or seconds
after the sting or bite. It affects the respiratory and circulatory systems of the human
body and can result in death if adequate measures are not taken. Signs and symptoms
of anaphylactic shock include the following:
a. Red, itching, or burning sensation of the skin, especially of the face and upper
b. Bluish coloration of the lips.
c. Hives (urticaria) [smooth, slightly elevated patches (wheals) which can also
be distinguished by color (either redder or paler than surrounding skin) and often
accompanied by severe itching]. Hives are an important sign that anaphylactic shock is
d. Swelling (edema), especially of the face, lips, and/or tongue.
e. Tightness or pain in the chest.
f. Coughing and/or wheezing, usually with labored breathing.
g. Weak pulse.
TREAT A CASUALTY WITH ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK
a. Monitor the casualty's respiration and heartbeat. Perform mouth-to-mouth
b. Have the casualty lie down and elevate his legs to promote blood circulation.
c. Prevent the loss of body heat by placing blankets or other covering beneath
the casualty and over the casualty.