a. Causes of Anaphylaxis. Causes of anaphylactic reaction include the
Insect stings--bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, fire ants.
Ingested substances--spices, berries, fish and shellfish, certain drugs.
Inhaled substances--dust, pollens, chemical powders.
Injected substances--antitoxins and drugs like penicillin.
Absorbed substances--certain chemicals when they come in contact with
b. Signs/Symptoms of Anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic reaction affects many of
the systems of the body, including the integumentary system (skin), respiratory system,
gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, urinary system, and nervous system.
Look at the way each of these systems is affected.
Integumentary system (the skin). Signs and symptoms include:
(a) Redness (redness of the skin).
(b) Urticaria (hives).
Angioedema (skin and subcutaneous tissues swell).
(d) Pruritus (itching and burning skin, especially around the face and
(2) Respiratory system. The child develops bronchospasms with wheezing
(the bronchial tubes get smaller, spasmodically causing wheezing). The tissues of the
larynx swell, causing the child to make a harsh, respiratory sound when he breathes.
He also becomes hoarse.
(3) Gastrointestinal system. The child experiences vomiting, abdominal
cramps, and diarrhea.
(4) Cardiovascular system. Cardiac blood vessels collapse. Tachycardia
(abnormally fast heart beat) occurs, and the heart beat itself is irregular.
(5) Urinary system. The child is incontinent (cannot control the passage of
urine or feces).
Nervous system. The child has seizures and is acutely anxious.