Diagnosis and treatment of anaphylaxis: there is an urgent needs to implement the use of guidelines

ABSTRACT Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening generalized or systemic hypersensitivity reaction that requires rapid and adequate care. This study aimed to obtain an integrated view of the level of physicians' knowledge related with treatment of anaphylaxis in studies published within the last 5 years. Sixteen studies were found and four points were identified as of the great interest to the authors: (1) emergency pharmacological treatment, (2) epinephrine auto-injectors prescription, (3) knowledge of the main signs of anaphylaxis, and (4) admission of the patient to verify biphasic reactions. Concern about the use of intramuscular adrenaline as the first choice in relation with anaphylaxis was evident in most studies, rather than its use in the comparison dial, and especially low in a study that included data from Brazil, in which the frequency of its use was 23.8%. An adrenaline autoinjector is highly recommended among specialists for patients at risk of anaphylaxis, however, its use is still infrequent among non-specialists and in countries that this agent is not available. Intervention studies have shown improved medical knowledge of anaphylaxis following disclosure of the information contained in the international guidelines. The analysis of these studies reinforces the need to disseminate international guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of anaphylaxis, as well as providing an adrenaline autoinjector, to improve management and to prevent a fatal outcome.