Reactions to anaesthesia

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions in anaesthesia can be fatal, and are a cause for concern in the perioperative setting. They are largely underreported, however there are more incidences now than ever before. A review has undertaken to look at the reports on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of these reactions.

Adult women are more at risk than men, and the neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) cause the most reactions, followed by latex and antibiotics. New allergens like vital dyes and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are causing more and more reactions in parallel with changing trends in clinical practice. Sensitisation to NMBAs may be linked to environmental factors. Pholcodine is being investigated with the possibility of being linked to reactions to NMBAs.

Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of immediate reactions in anaesthesia are now available.

Source: Current opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology

First published in August 2012



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