What are the general appearance and vital signs characteristic of anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

General appearance and vital signs vary according to the severity of the anaphylactic episode and the organ system(s) affected. Vital signs may be normal or significantly disordered with tachypnea, tachycardia, and/or hypotension.

Patients commonly are restless due to severe pruritus from urticaria. Anxiety, tremor, and a sensation of cold may result from compensatory endogenous catecholamine release. Anxiety is common unless hypotension or hypoxia causes obtundation. Frank cardiovascular collapse or respiratory arrest may occur in severe cases.


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