Infant anaphylaxis: the importance of early recognition.
J Asthma Allergy. 2013 ;6:103-7. Epub 2013 Jul 4. PMID: 23847427
Anaphylaxis is an acute severe reaction involving multiple systems that results from a rapid release of inflammatory mediators. Patients with asthma and prior allergic reactions are at risk for anaphylaxis. Infants can present a special challenge, as the hallmark symptoms and signs of anaphylaxis may be mistaken as normal findings. These include drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, scratching, and drowsiness. The clinical manifestations of anaphylaxis are broad, as a result of it being a systemic response to an external agent. Among infants and children, there are often respiratory and cutaneous findings. There also can be subtle signs and symptoms, which can often be missed or the findings misinterpreted as normal for developmental age. The incidence of anaphylaxis has increased globally among children presenting with allergic reactions. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms is crucial to effective diagnosis and treatment. This is particularly true among infants 13 months of age or younger who are nonverbal and may have subtle signs and symptoms of a life-threatening reaction to allergens. The purpose of this article is to highlight the differential clinical presentations of young children with anaphylaxis.