No one goes to work in healthcare hoping to encounter medical emergencies like anaphylaxis; unfortunately, they do happen and are more common than you’d hope. Staff need to be fully prepared to act quickly and effectively whenever a medical emergency arises.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and rapidly developing allergic reaction that can lead to death. It’s crucial that your team is fully equipped with knowledge on how to deal with such a medical emergency. It is the responsibility of the Healthcare recruitment agency to make sure their staff have the mandatory training, enabling them to take the appropriate steps when faced with someone with anaphylaxis.
With cases of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis steadily rising nationally and approximately 20 deaths attributed to anaphylaxis annually in the UK, it’s more important than ever that staff feel confident in their ability to protect patients effectively.
Does your staff have the essential knowledge to ensure patient safety?
Recognising the symptoms
Quickly recognising symptoms allows treatment to commence as soon as possible.
Severe symptoms include a dramatic fall in blood pressure (anaphylactic shock), going weak and floppy, collapsing, loss of consciousness and on occasion, death.
Non-severe symptoms include widespread flushing of the skin, nettle rash, swelling of the skin, swelling of the lips, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
You may have come across a tragic news story last year about a death related to the improper allergy labelling of food. The story shocked many and led to allergy awareness and transparency becoming a widely talked about issue.
The event exposed a lack of responsibility in the food industry concerning allergy warnings. While your staff are healthcare workers, the story carries a strong message of taking the necessary precautions seriously to protect the people they care for.
Establishing clear communication with vulnerable patients to understand what their allergens are is one example of responsibly managing risk.
Ability to use fully licensed adrenaline injectors
Administering adrenaline injectors is a reasonably straightforward process. However, most studies of fatal anaphylaxis show that a lack of, or delay in, administration of adrenaline is a common factor in death, whereas early administration of adrenaline even in severe attacks is associated with survival.
Gaining thorough training in administering adrenaline injectors appropriately is therefore invaluable.
Respond quickly and effectively in a medical emergency
Being confident in your role in a medical emergency such as anaphylaxis is part of the job description, and getting the necessary training will reinforce this confidence and knowledge. You can respond quickly in taking steps to avoid any fatalities or lasting damage.
The evidence in this article points to increasing awareness and occurrences of anaphylaxis. There’s no excuse not to take Anaphylaxis training and know-how seriously. Now is the time to ensure that your staff are fully reliable in these circumstances and can take quick, effective and knowledgeable actions.