Mild Systemic Reactions

When the allergic response spreads from the site of the wound then the reaction is reclassified as systemic ie it affects the body system.

However within the systemic response there is a wide variety of reactions and degrees of that reaction.  The medical profession have sliced this response into four levels and named these levels or grades after its founder – a Dr Mueller.  Here is a schematized version of his four grades of anaphylaxis:

It can be seen from the above table that the more symptoms and the more severe then the higher the grade.

Typically most people will with a mild systemic reaction have a systemic reaction Grade 1 – with hives/red weals, red blotchy skin, skin rash and swelling away.

If it progresses further then stomach cramping and nausea may ensue accompanied by a drop in blood pressure and an associated increase in heart rate.  The stomach cramping and nausea may turn into spontaneous defecation and vomiting.  This would be defined as a Grade 2 reaction.

Beyond this is when anaphylaxis starts to become really serious as the bronchial airways become seriously compromised by swelling and so oxygen becomes difficult to absorb and cyanosis can set is – the victim will turn blue.  This is typically folled by respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest.