BITES AND STINGS

SEEKING CARE FOR COMMON INSECT BITE AND STING

The most common insect bites in Florida includes mosquitoes, fleas, mites and fire ants. Sting from bees and wasps are typically defensive attacks. The reaction the bite or sting can range from mild irritation or inflammation  to life threatening swelling and difficulty breathing. It is important to know however, that at least 60 people die annually in the US due to sting from bees, hornets and wasps.

Treatment for mild bites and stings is usually supportive. The objective is to alleviate the discomfort.

Spider bites are not very common. In addition, very few spiders have fangs long enough to penetrate the human skin. Typically, the bite occurs when the spider is being  crushed inadvertently. Most bites can be treated with supportive care.  Bites from Black widow or the Brown Recluse spider  can however be deadly.

Reaction from a Black Widow bite may include pain and swelling which can spread to the back, chest and belly. You may also experience chill, sweat and nausea.

The pain from a Recluse bite increases during the first 8 hours of the bite. Sometimes the skin breakdown at the site of the bite, and will require surgical intervention .

If you are having difficulty breathing, or a swollen throat, Report to the Nearest Emergency Room Immediately!

BEE AND WASP STINGS

Bee stings are always at least painful, but they can be deadly if the patient is allergic to bee venom. If a patient has had any allergic reactions to bee stings in the past, they have a higher chance of showing signs of possible anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

When stung by a bee, you want to remove any stingers right away. The longer a bee’s stinger stays in, the more venom it can release, causing a more painful reaction. Brush the surface of the skin and try to extract the stinger to prevent a more severe reaction.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO TRY TO ALLEVIATE THE SYMPTOMS:

  • Use an ice pack to reduce swelling at the site.
  • Take an antihistamine, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl), to reduce swelling and itching.
  • Try ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT MULTIPLE BEE STINGS

Anyone who has been stung multiple times (10 is a good rule of thumb) needs to go to the emergency department. As mentioned above, there is almost always a local reaction. That means anyone, allergic or not, will have trouble when given enough bee venom

When in doubt, it is always best to seek medical attention for further evaluation.

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