During any severe allergic reaction, you should lie down on your side or with your head turned to the side to avoid choking if you are sick. Even if you don't feel nauseated, though, you'll be more comfortable if you can stretch out.
Obviously, there's always the possibility that you may not be able to take emergency action yourself. If you can't breathe or you pass out, someone near you will have to take over. Your spouse or other family member should be as familiar as you are with the location and use of emergency medications. If you aren't breathing and no medication is on hand, the person with you should call for emergency aid and know how to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to open your airways.
The name and phone number of your doctor should be posted near every phone in your home, along with the number of your ambulance service and the location of the nearest hospital.
Anyone with serious allergies should also wear a bracelet or tag or carry a drug information card identifying items to which the individual’s allergic. The information will save precious time and prevent medical personnel from mistakenly treating you for other causes of collapse, such as stroke or heart failure.
There are those rare occasions, of course, when an individual reacts to an allergy injection received in a doctor's surgery as part of routine therapy. For that reason, your doctor probably won't send you merrily on your way as soon as you've had your injection. No one should be left unattended for the first thirty minutes, at the very least, after having an allergy shot. Some doctors, in fact, prefer to play it safe and keep you an hour. And any doctor giving allergy shots should be prepared to give adrenalin, open an airway and if necessary give oxygen to a person who unexpectedly reacts in the office. You shouldn't hesitate to ask if your doctor has all the necessary medication and equipment on hand. That's especially true if your pediatrician, ear-nose-and-throat doctor or G.P. customarily gives you your allergy injections. A caring doctor isn't likely to take offence at your concern. After all, doctors want to avoid trouble just as much as you do.
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