Skip to main content


What to do if you are home (or elsewhere) alone and experience anaphylaxis

Managing anpahylaxis when alone

It can be frightening to experience anaphylaxis when others are around to help, let alone when you are by yourself. Here we provide some general preparation tips as well as a specific plan to follow if you experience anaphylaxis when alone.

pdfWhat to do if you are home (or elsewhere) alone and experience anaphylaxis297.08 KB

Some general preparation tips:

  • Be familiar with your ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.

  • Be sure you know how to use your adrenaline (epinephrine) injector (such as EpiPen®, Anapen®). Practice with an adrenaline injector training device.

  • Always keep your adrenaline injector in the same place so you can find it easily if needed. Keep your ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis with it.

  • Consider doing the ASCIA anaphylaxis first aid e-training for community at least yearly https://allergy.org.au/patients/anaphylaxis-e-training-first-aid-community.

  • Consider leaving a front door key with a trusted neighbour.

  • Check out the “what to do in an emergency” section of the A&AA website for useful information https://allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-management/emergency.

If you are alone and experiencing an allergic reaction:

  • Get your adrenaline injector, ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and mobile phone.

  • Follow your ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.

  • If you are having ANY symptoms of anaphylaxis, administer your adrenaline injector and call TRIPLE ZERO 000. As you are alone, and this is a life-threatening emergency, keep the ambulance operator on the phone until emergency help arrives.

  • If your front door is locked, unlock it and lie down or sit on the ground with legs outstretched (do not stand up). Do not block the door.

  • While waiting for help, try to breathe slowly, deeply and evenly. Try not to panic.

  • If you have not responded to the adrenaline after 5 minutes (i.e. you are not feeling any better or the symptoms are now worse) and you have a second adrenaline injector, administer it.

  • DO NOT have a shower or move around more than is necessary.

  • NEVER drive yourself to hospital. Wait for the ambulance to arrive.

  • If you are having an allergic reaction but not anaphylaxis, consider phoning a family member or friend to alert them (call out to a passer-by for help if out in public). Also consider calling TRIPLE ZERO 000 for help and advice.

Content reviewed July 2021

IN AN EMERGENCY

If you are having an allergic reaction follow advice on your ASCIA Action Plan.

If in doubt, give the Anapen® or EpiPen®.

Do not call us for emergency advice.

If you do not have an ASCIA Action Plan and/or an Anapen® or EpiPen® call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.