anaphylactic deathA death resulting from an anaphylactic reaction, which kills by shock or asphyxia, due to an IgE-mediated immune response. Anaphylactic shock may be misdiagnosed as myocardial infarction; food and aspirin anaphylaxis may be misdiagnosed as fatal asthma. Asphyxia may be due to asthma (food or aspirin/NSAID sensitivity) or laryngeal oedema (due to stings, e.g., or bees).
Read notes to identify a sudden collapse following exposure to something—e.g., anaesthetic, certain foods (nuts, shellfish), bee sting, hair dye, etc.
Role of autopsy in suspected anaphylaxis
• Is there morbid anatomy to support suspected anaphylaxis?
• Is there other morbid anatomy that could account of the death?
• Is there biochemical evidence of anaphylaxis (e.g., mast cell tryptase)?
• Is there serologic evidence of the agent (e.g., specific IgE antibodies)?