LESSON 4 – THE ASCIA ACTION PLAN

You must first complete LESSON 3 – HOW TO RECOGNISE ALLERGY AND ANAPHYLAXIS before viewing this Lesson

ASCIA Action plans provide a clear, concise and consistent guide to recognising and dealing with allergy and anaphylaxis.

ASCIA Action Plans include:

  • Mild to moderate allergic reaction signs and symptoms.
  • Actions to take when a person has a mild to moderate allergic reaction.
  • Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.
  • Actions to take when a person has anaphylaxis.
  • Diagrams on how to give an adrenaline autoinjector.
  • Actions to take after giving the adrenaline autoinjector.
  • Emergency contact details of the parent/guardian (or other emergency contact).

ASCIA Action Plans should be:

  • Prepared and signed by the person’s medical practitioner only & reviewed every 12-18 months when a new prescription for the adrenaline autoinjector is obtained or as the person’s medical condition changes.

Copies of the completed ASCIA Action Plan should be:

  • Stored with each adrenaline autoinjector, including when it is carried by the person at risk of anaphylaxis.
  • Clearly displayed in areas that are accessible to all staff members in schools or childcare services (privacy issues may need to be considered).
  • ASCIA Action Plans should be reviewed when patients are reassessed by their doctor, and each time they obtain a new adrenaline autoinjector and when reassessed by a doctor. This is approximately every 12 to 18 months. If there are no changes after a review then the ASCIA Action Plan may not need to be updated. It is important that the patient has the most recent version of the ASCIA Action Plan

There are three types of ASCIA Action Plans and they are coloured Red, Green or Orange

Action Plan for Anaphylaxis – RED

Action Plan for Allergic Reactions –   GREEN

Action Plan for Anaphylaxis – General –  ORANGE

 

1.ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (personal) Red

This is for children or adults diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis who have been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector.

This ASCIA Action Plan is for an individual and includes personal details and an area to place a photo.

Schools and childcare services should ensure that these are displayed on walls in staff areas to help staff identify children or adults at risk. A reference booklet with copies of action plans could also be used to support Casual relief teachers in recognising children with Anaphylaxis

  ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis Red

1.     ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions – Green

Provided to children or adults with known mild or moderate allergies (including insect allergy) who have NOT been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector because they are considered at lower risk of progressing to anaphylaxis when they have an allergic reaction. It is important however, that risk minimisation strategies are in place for these children or adults also.

If this person should develop Anaphylaxis, then the action plan should be followed.

This Action Plan is for an individual and includes personal details and an area to place a photo.

Schools and childcare services should display these completed ASCIA Action Plans on walls in staff areas to help staff identify children or adults at risk.

ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions – Green

 

  1. ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (general) – Orange

This is for general information only and can be posted on walls as a general guide to recognising allergy and Anaphylaxis

ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis Orange   

Action Plans include in detail the following information

Signs and symptoms of mild to moderate allergic reactions

  • Swelling of lips, face, eyes.
  • Hives (urticaria) or welts.
  • Tingling mouth.
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting (for allergic reactions to food).

Unlike food allergy, abdominal pain and vomiting are SEVERE symptoms for those experiencing an allergic reaction to insects.

Action for mild to moderate allergic reaction

  • For insect allergy, flick out sting if visible.  
  • For tick allergy – freeze dry tick and allow to drop off.
  • Stay with person and call for help – DO NOT leave person unattended.
  • Locate adrenaline autoinjector (if available).
  • Give medications if prescribed (such as non-drowsy antihistamine).
  • Phone parent/guardian (or other emergency contact).

It is important to stay with the person and watch for any signs of anaphylaxis.  Mild to moderate signs can present first and then progress to anaphylaxis, however mild to moderate signs may not always occur before Anaphylaxis.

Antihistamines may be prescribed for mild to moderate cases of Allergy but will not help for Anaphylaxis

Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis

Watch for any one of the following signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis:

  • Difficult/noisy breathing.
  • Swelling of tongue.
  • Swelling/tightness in throat.
  • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice.
  • Wheeze or persistent cough.
  • Persistent dizziness or collapse.
  • Pale and floppy (young children).
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting (for allergic reactions to insects)

Unlike food allergy, abdominal pain and vomiting are SEVERE symptoms for those experiencing an allergic reaction to insects.

Action for anaphylaxis

  • Lay the person flat. DO NOT allow them to stand or walk. If breathing is difficult, allow them to sit. If they are unconscious or vomiting, place them in the recovery position (on their side).
  • Give the adrenaline autoinjector immediately.
  • Phone ambulance – 000 (Australia, including mobiles), 111 (New Zealand).
  • Phone the parent/guardian or other emergency contact.
  • Note the time the adrenaline autoinjector was given.
  • Calm and reassure the person.
  • Give the used adrenaline autoinjector to ambulance staff when they arrive.

If uncertain whether it is Anaphylaxis or Asthma give Adrenaline autoinjector first then follow Asthma first Aid.

If the person stops breathing, commence CPR.

Antihistamines do not help the symptoms of anaphylaxis.

IMPORTANT FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING ACTION PLANS

COMPLETING AN ACTION PLAN – ASCIA Action Plans have been developed as medical documents and must be completed, signed and dated by the patient’s medical doctor.  If copies are required then the original signed copy should be photocopied or scanned.

REVIEW OF ACTION PLANS – ASCIA Action Plans should be reviewed when patients are reassessed by their doctor, and each time they obtain a new adrenaline autoinjector prescription, which is approximately every 12 to 18 months.  If there are no changes in diagnosis or management, the medical information on the ASCIA Action Plan may not need to be updated.  However, if the patient is a child, the photo should be updated each time, so they can be easily identified.

In some regions, ASCIA Action Plans are required to be updated annually (if stipulated by regional guidelines and/or legislation).

CURRENCY OF ACTION PLAN

There are a number of older versions of the ASCIA Action Plan. Older versions of action plans should NOT be used as protocols may change and we need to have the most up to date care.

Go to www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/anaphylaxis-resources/action-plans-for-allergic-reactions-faq

Download action plans here

https://www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/ascia-plans-action-and-treatment

 

Lesson tags: ACTION PLAN, ASCIA, ASCIA ACTION PLAN, LESSON 4
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