How do you treat a nut reaction?

Answered by Tom Adger

Treatment for a severe allergic reaction to nuts, also known as anaphylaxis, is a serious matter that requires immediate action. Here are the steps to take in order to provide emergency treatment:

1. Lay the person flat: It is important to ensure the person is lying down, as this helps prevent the reaction from worsening. Do not allow them to stand or walk, as it may increase the risk of collapsing.

2. Administer adrenaline with an injector: Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. It helps to reverse the allergic reaction and can be life-saving. Adrenaline injectors, such as EpiPen® or Anapen®, are designed for easy and quick administration. The injector should be pressed firmly against the outer mid-thigh and held in place for around 10 seconds. The person may need a second dose after 5-15 minutes if their symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.

3. Call an ambulance: Even if the person’s symptoms start to improve after administering adrenaline, it is crucial to dial triple zero (000) or the emergency number in your country to call an ambulance. Anaphylaxis can be unpredictable and potentially life-threatening, so immediate medical attention is necessary.

4. Stay with the person: While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, it is important to stay with the individual, monitor their vital signs, and provide reassurance. Keep them in a lying position and try to keep them calm.

5. If the person becomes unconscious: If the person loses consciousness, place them in the recovery position to maintain an open airway. This position involves rolling them onto their side while supporting their head and neck. This will help prevent choking on any vomit or other fluids.

6. Additional treatments: Once the person reaches medical care, healthcare professionals may administer further treatments, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, to help prevent the recurrence of symptoms. They may also monitor the person’s vital signs and provide oxygen if necessary.

It is important to note that the information provided here is general and should not replace proper medical advice. Each case of anaphylaxis can vary, and it is crucial to follow the guidance of healthcare professionals and any individualized emergency plans or protocols specific to the person experiencing the allergic reaction.

Personal experience:
As someone who has witnessed severe allergic reactions to nuts in the past, I understand the importance of prompt and effective treatment. In one instance, a close friend of mine accidentally consumed a nut-containing product and quickly developed symptoms of anaphylaxis. We immediately laid her flat on the ground and administered adrenaline using an EpiPen®. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, we stayed with her, monitored her vital signs, and provided reassurance. Thankfully, she responded well to the treatment and received further care at the hospital. This experience highlighted the significance of being prepared and acting swiftly in such emergency situations.