Adrenaline auto-injector prescription for patients at risk of anaphylaxis: BSACI guidance for primary care - BSACI

Adrenaline auto-injector prescription for patients at risk of anaphylaxis: BSACI guidance for primary care

To view the letter in Clinical & Experimental Allergy click here

Summary

This guidance has been written for a primary care healthcare professional managing a patient who has either experienced anaphylaxis or a milder allergic reaction where they may be at risk of anaphylaxis in the future.

Anaphylaxis, also called allergic or anaphylactic shock, is a sudden, severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that involves the whole body. The reaction is marked by constriction of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. Swelling of the throat may block the airway in severe cases.

The Adrenaline auto-injectors prescription for patients at risk of anaphylaxis: BSACI guidance for primary care written by the BSACI, is for primary care healthcare professionals managing patients who have either experienced anaphylaxis or may be at risk of anaphylaxis. This is important guidance as primary care is often the first place where advice and guidance is sought from patients.

The guidance has been informed by current practice and addresses key primary care clinical questions and known gaps in care from reported fatalities.

The guidance recommends GPs to provide two adrenaline auto injectors for those at significant risk of anaphylaxis and to always carry them. Where the healthcare professional is uncertain about the risk of anaphylaxis, prescribing adrenaline would be a safety net, pending review in a specialist allergy clinic. Patients who are prescribed an AAI or considered at risk of anaphylaxis must then be referred on to be reviewed by an allergy specialist.

The guidance emphasises the need to train the patient on how to use each device and how the specialist and primary care teams should work together to avoid gaps in care.

The guidance aims to simplify the understanding and practice of prescribing auto-injectors for health professionals for the benefit of patients. It also signposts other helpful resources in this area including the recent MHRA Public Assessment Report of the Commission on Human Medicines’ AAI Expert working group: Recommendations to support the effective and safe use of adrenaline auto-injectors.

Click here for frequently asked questions on adrenaline auto-injectors.

Click here for types of adrenaline auto-injectors in the UK.

Keywords: adrenaline auto-injector, anaphylaxis, primary healthcare

Authors

Dr Elizabeth Angier, Dr Deepa Choudhury, Dr David Luyt, Sarah Baker, Amena Warner, Dr Andrew Clark and Dr Pamela Ewan

Click here to view the press release

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