fatal anaphylactic reaction

fatal anaphylactic reaction

A general term for an acute allergic reaction that results in sudden death.

Clinical findings
Generalised flushing, urticaria, angio-oedema, vomiting, diarrhoea, rhinorrhoea, sneezing, coughing, conjunctivitis, loss of consciousness, and shock.

Iatrogenic agents, food reactions, venom (bees, wasps).

History of prior anaphylactic reactions; specific IgE antibodies to suspected antigen; elevated beta-tryptase, which is released from mast cells in anaphylactic reactions (with the caveat that beta-tryptase can be raised in non-anaphylatic fatalities and can be normal in asthmatic deaths).

Mechanism(s) of death in anaphylaxis
• Respiratory arrest—e.g., increased airways resistance with asphyxia due to pharyngeal and laryngeal oedema, lower airways obstruction due to bronchospasm or mucus plugging.
• Cardiac arrest—e.g., secondary to respiratory arrest, due to mediators of anaphylaxis on the heart, or shock with profound vasodilation and angio-oedema, leading to loss of intravascular fluid.
• Both, leading to cardiopulmonary arrest.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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