Blog: Anaphylaxis: Free training and resources

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Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious allergic response that often involves swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and in severe cases, shock. If anaphylactic shock isn't treated immediately, it can be fatal.

A major difference between anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions is that anaphylaxis typically involves more than one system of the body.

Symptoms usually start within 5 to 30 minutes of coming into contact with an allergen to which an individual is allergic. In some cases, however, it may take more than an hour to notice anaphylactic symptoms.

Warning signs may include:
Red rash (usually itchy and may have welts/hives)
Swollen throat or swollen areas of the body
Passing out
Chest tightness
Trouble breathing
Hoarse voice
Trouble swallowing
Stomach cramping
Pale or red color to the face and body

More information on how to treat anaphylaxis can be found at

Anaphylaxis may occur in people with allergies to foods, insect stings, medications or latex. If you are at risk for anaphylaxis, be prepared with an anyphylaxis action plan and by carrying autoinjectible epinephrine.

The best thing you can do is attend a work related first aid course, but if things are tight in the world of time and money, there is a free course available online.

This modular course is for anaphylaxis first aid training in the community, where face to face anaphylaxis training is not possible, or as a refresher course, or for interim training whilst waiting for face to face training. This course should be completed in conjunction with practice using an adrenaline autoinjector training device.

If you would like more resources including posters, action plans, DVD's or training devices, or have more questions, please head over to

Worksafe covers the requirements for carrying first aid kits (with specifics for remote workers) and lists what to do about medication.
An Epipen could be considered "extra first aid equipment" whilst it could be considered that there is a higher than normal risk of anaphylactic shock as a beekeeper

The Red Cross First Aid manual is available as a free download from Red Cross New Zealand website.


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