Anaphylaxis positioning

Posture and positioning are important when experiencing anaphylaxis.

When someone is having anaphylaxis, it is important that they do not stand or walk, and are laid down flat to help improve blood pressure. If breathing is impaired when laying down, you should sit upright with legs outstretched.

Watch our short animation or read the information below about positioning someone experiencing anaphylaxis. Share with friends, family, and your broader community.

How to position a child or an adult having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) 

How to position a child or adult having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

We have created an infographic of how to position a child or adult having anaphylaxis.

This infographic can be downloaded and printed and included in first aid kits or used as a poster.

pdfHow to position a child or adult having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)221.31 KB

How to position a child or adult having a severe allergic reaction anaphylaxis

As stated on the ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis, when someone is having anaphylaxis:

Boy positioning 
Lay the person flat - do not allow them to stand or walk.
 

 Boy positioning - on floor back against wall for support 

If breathing is difficult or they are vomiting, allow them to sit.
They should sit on the ground or on a bed with their legs stretched out flat.

 Boy positioning - recovery position

If they are unconscious, place them in the recovery position.

   

adrenalin injector positioningadrenalin injector positioning

adrenalin injector positioning - self injectionadrenalin injector positioning - self injection

Give the adrenaline injector if available and call an ambulance. The person having anaphylaxis must be laying flat or sitting when the adrenaline injector is given. Avoid seams and pockets when giving the adrenaline injector.

transport positioning   

After adrenaline has been given, the person having anaphylaxis should not be allowed to stand, sit up quickly or walk, even if they look like they have recovered.

They should be taken to the ambulance on a stretcher or trolley bed.

How to position a baby or young child having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

We have created an infographic of how to position a baby, young child or pregnant person having anaphylaxis.

This infographic can be downloaded and printed and included in first aid kits or used as a poster.

pdfHow to position a baby, young child or pregnant person having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)213.32 KB

How to position a baby young child or pregnant person having a severe allergic reaction anaphylaxis

Baby positioning   

Hold them across your body, making sure their body is not upright. Standing or holding a baby or young child upright can make anaphylaxis worse by causing a drop in blood pressure.

A baby or young child may need to be held to calm and reassure them.

How to position a pregnant person having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

pregnant positioning   

A pregnant person should sit with their legs stretched out flat or be placed in the recovery position on their left side for good blood flow from mum to the baby.

Content updated March 2022

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Allergic diseases have become an increasingly important chronic disease and public health issue in Australia and other developed countries over the last two decades, contributing to increased demand for medical services, significant economic cost of care and reduced quality of life of people with allergic diseases and their carers.

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