View Full Version : anaphylactic shock

05-29-2002, 03:33 AM
on this http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/texts/guide/hmg28_0003.html#site, i read the following:

For severe cases or when a patient is in danger of ana-phylaxis, an incjetion of adrenaline is required immediately to raise the blood pressure and open up breathing passages [emphasis mine]. After adrenaline is injected and the immediate emergency passes, antihistamines and corticosteroids are given.

is this a simple reaction? the simplest, to me, is this:

blood pressure drops. intracellular and intratissual (?) pressures drop, causing fluids to leak from cells and tissues into surrounding areas. this causes inflammation and swelling, such as of the esophageal tissues.

inject adrenaline, much more blood gets pumped, pressures equalized. right?

however, i also have a limited understanding of cortisone u.s.w. which understanding is limited by the unutterably sheer complexity of the whole subject. so i have some idea of what goes into somatic trauma response.

so am i lucky, and is the anaphylactic response (and the andrenaline treatment) simple like that, or is it one of those unutterable complex deals?


05-29-2002, 03:46 AM
sorry, that should be:


05-29-2002, 08:16 AM
OK, colour me confused :confused: but what exactly IS it that you want to know??????????????

05-29-2002, 11:12 AM
It's not that complex.

Anaphylaxis causes shock and respiratory distress. Shock is the condition when your body cannot circulate enough oxygenated blood from the lungs out to the tissues. Three things can cause this: 1) not enough blood 2) heart not working 3) lack of arterial pressure.

The third one is a little unobvious. Your heart cannot circulate blood out through the zillions of capillaries unless your arteries help by squeezing the blood along. If the arteries dilate as with anaphylaxis, blood flow to the tissues falls off starving them of oxygen.

In your chest and neck the bronchial tubes are located next to major arteries. As the arteries in those areas swell with blood, they crowd out the airways causing respiratory distress.

Adrenaline and epinephrine provide temporary relief because they cause the arteries to constrict, which raises the blood pressure and allows the bronchial tubes to expand to normal size. Antihistamines are given to counteract the cause of the anaphylaxis so that it does not come back when the adrenaline wears off.