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Myths, facts and controversies in the diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis
  1. Katherine Anagnostou1,2,
  2. Paul J Turner3
  1. 1 Department of Pediatrics, Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA
  2. 2 Pediatrics, Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Baylor college of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
  3. 3 Section of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katherine Anagnostou, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Aikaterini.Anagnostou{at}


Anaphylaxis is a serious systemic allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. Despite numerous national and international guidelines and consensus statements, common misconceptions still persist in terms of diagnosis and appropriate management, both among healthcare professionals and patient/carers. We address some of these misconceptions and highlight the optimal approach for patients who experience potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

  • allergy
  • anaphylaxis
  • food allergy
  • vaccines
  • adrenaline

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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  • Contributors KA and PJT jointly wrote the manuscript and approved the final version.

  • Funding PJT is in receipt of a Clinician Scientist award funded by the UK Medical Research Council (reference MR/K010468/1).

  • Competing interests PJT co-led a taskforce of healthcare professionals (including the RCPCH) and representatives of patient support organisations, which worked with the UK Departments of Health to introduce legislation allowing the provision of ‘spare’ emergency adrenaline autoinjectors in schools, and helped develop guidance around this including the website.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been corrected since it was published Online First. The BSACI/RCPCH has just updated its Allergy Plans and so figure 1 has been replaced with the new plan.

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