New ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis

The signs and actions for anaphylaxis remain the same.
The signs and actions for anaphylaxis remain the same.

For the first time since their implementation, ASICA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis have gone through a major reformatting.

The purpose of this reformatting was to make them easier to use, which is becoming more important all the time. The prevalence of anaphylaxis action plans is increasing, particularly in schools, as recognition and diagnosis of severe allergies becomes more commonplace.

What Hasn’t Changed?

The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis remain unchanged. This is important to note – if you come across these it should be treated as a medical emergency.

Severe symptoms include:

  • Tightness of the throat from swelling.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Tongue and facial swelling.
  • Hoarse voice or difficulty speaking.
  • A wheeze or persistent cough.
  • Collapse or falling unconscious.
  • Becoming pale or floppy (young children).
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Hives, welts, and body redness.

The range of less dangerous anaphylactic symptoms should be treated with just as much urgency, as they can quickly escalate:

  • Flushed skin.
  • Hives.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Sudden feeling of weakness.
  • Swelling of the face, lips, and eyes.

Likewise, the actions for anaphylaxis are the same. This is important to note, as it means all current training is still very much valid and follows best practice.

You can remind yourself of the current actions by reading First Aid Training to Manage Anaphylaxis, and refer to our handy First Aid Chart on Anaphylaxis and How to Use an EpiPen.

What Has Changed?

According to the ASCIA website, updates for the ASCIA 2023 Action Plans for Anaphylaxis include:

  1. Patient specific details are all completed in the top section.*
  2. Signs of, and actions for mild to moderate allergic reactions are in two easy to follow lists.
  3. Instructions for adrenaline injectors are colour coded.
  4. Instructions for both adrenaline injectors are included in the General version of the plan.
  5. Device specific versions of the plan for Anapen® and EpiPen® include changes 1-3 listed above and a QR code which links to short animated videos with adrenaline injector instructions.

* This formatting may also facilitate use with some EMR systems, subject to approval by ASCIA.

The format of the following plans have also been updated to be consistent with the 2023 versions of the red ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis:

  • ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (green)
  • ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy (dark green)
  • ASCIA First Aid Plan for Anaphylaxis (orange)
  • ASCIA Travel Plan for People at Risk of Anaphylaxis (red) for use with the red ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis

The ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training courses will be updated to include the 2023 version of the plan, and will be available in July this 2023.

The new ASCIA 2023 Action Plans for Anaphylaxis can be accessed here:

You can also find a complete summary of the updates through the links on the ASCIA website.

First Aid for Anaphylaxis

Not only is it important to know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis but also to understand how to use an EpiPen and Anapen to administer them correctly. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can feel confident in your ability to treat an anaphylactic reaction and prevent making mistakes that could have serious consequences.

To learn more about treating anaphylaxis as well as first aid for other medical emergencies, enroll in one of our first aid courses near you:

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