anaphylactic shock

noun
Pathology. a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction to a foreign substance, especially a protein, as serum or bee venom, to which an individual has become sensitized, often involving rapid swelling, acute respiratory distress, and collapse of circulation.

Origin:
1905–10

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Collins
World English Dictionary
anaphylactic shock
 
n
a severe, sometimes fatal, reaction to a substance to which a person has an extreme sensitivity, often involving respiratory difficulty and circulation failure

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

anaphylactic shock n.
A severe, sometimes fatal allergic reaction characterized by a sharp drop in blood pressure, urticaria, and breathing difficulties that is caused by exposure to a foreign substance, such as a drug or bee venom, after preliminary or sensitizing exposure. Also called anaphylaxis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
anaphylactic shock   (ān'ə-fə-lāk'tĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A sudden, life-threatening allergic reaction, characterized by dilation of blood vessels with a sharp drop in blood pressure and bronchial spasm with shortness of breath. anaphylactic shock is caused by exposure to a foreign substance, such as a drug or bee venom, to which the individual has been previously exposed. The substances act as antigens, provoking a preliminary immune response during the first exposure that results in a full-blown, immediate response during secondary exposure, called an immediate hypersensitivity reaction. Emergency treatment, including epinephrine injections, must be administered to prevent death. Also called anaphylaxis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They might cause unpleasant upper respiratory irritations, but they will not
  send anyone into anaphylactic shock.
He yelped and cursed, then started turning blue and breathing erratically-he
  was in anaphylactic shock.
And you don't know when you're going to have that one reaction and go into
  anaphylactic shock and maybe drop dead.
My best guess was that my new patient was in anaphylactic shock, a severe
  allergic reaction mediated by the body's immune system.
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