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Terry Ferns, Irena Chojnaka
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 12, Iss. 17, 26 Sep 2003, pp 1006 - 1012

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition which nurses may encounter while practising in any sphere of nursing. This article reviews the management of adults presenting with severe anaphylaxis in a general hospital setting. It summarizes data obtained from studies on the incidence of anaphylaxis, explains their significance, and defines the terms used when describing the pathophysiology of the condition. This is followed by an examination of the pathophysiology surrounding anaphylaxis with a summary of common causative agents. An overview of the management of patients with anaphylaxis is presented, together with a summary of the literature relating to the legal and ethical issues that nurses may face when encountering patients presenting with or experiencing anaphylaxis.

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