Clinical criteria for anaphylaxis

Ronna L. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D., leads this project, studying management and prognostic of anaphylaxis to provide better patient care in the emergency department.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) have established criteria to accurately identify anaphylaxis. Dr. Campbell and her colleagues hypothesize that the NIAID and FARE criteria is highly sensitive and specific for diagnosis of anaphylaxis in patients in the emergency department suspected of allergic reactions.

Anaphylaxis is an acute, life-threatening reaction, usually but not always mediated by an immunological mechanism that results from sudden systemic release of mast cells and basophil mediators. Anaphylaxis often produces signs and symptoms within minutes of exposure, but some reactions may develop later, for example, more that 30 minutes after exposure. Late phase or biphasic reactions occurring one to 72 hours (most within 10 hours) after the initial attack have also been reported. Since presentations are varied, cases of anaphylaxis are sometimes difficult to identify and classify.