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First Aid Training Insect Bites and Stings

Insect bites and sting are generally easy to treat at home. Still, the effects to individuals who have severe allergic reactions to such bites and stings can be serious and require emergency professional help.

Common symptoms of insect bites and stings:

immediate pain, swelling, redness at the area and swelling
immediate muscle rigidity in the stomach, back, shoulders and chest
burning, tingling, and numbness
rash and itching
anxiety and restlessness
vomiting or nausea
swelling of the eyelid and tearing of the eyes
tremors, weakness, or paralysis, particularly in the legs
double fang marks or deep sting mark

First aid for general types of bites

Move the victim to a safe place, away from the area where the accident happened.
If the stinger is still present, use straight-edged object like ATM card and driver's license card and scrape it across the stinger.
Refrain from using tweezers when removing the stinger since it may squeeze the venom sac and release more venom to the body, aggravating the effects of the sting.
Wash the affected area thoroughly with ordinary soap and water.
Place an ice pack (ice held within a soft towel) of the area of the sting.
If itching is uncomfortable, apply cream on the surface of the sting.
Infection can happen a few days the incident. If increased pain, itching, redness and swelling are experienced, seek for medical advice.

Fore severe reactions

Move the victim to a safe place, away from the area where the accident happened.
Check the victim's pulse, breathing and airways.
Call 911
If the victim is unconscious, begin CPR and rescue breathing.
If the victim is responding, give words of reassurance that everything will going to be okay and survival is out of the question. Make him or her calm.
Remove objects from the body that may aggravate the swelling (ring, necklace, bracelets).
People who have serious allergies to insect bites and sting often carry an emergency epinephrine kit. Use it if the victim has one.
Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
Contact friends and family members of the victim.

When to call for help?

Call 911 if the patient is having severe allergic reaction and showing the following signs:

Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
Feeling weak
Excessive swelling on the face and body that are away from the area of the bite or sting
Throat feels tight
Turning pale or blue


never provoke the insects (insects attack if threatened)
whenever you go outdoors, wear protective clothing and use appropriate insect repellant
avoid making rapid movements when near the insects
stay away from bee hives or nests
when eating outdoors avoid places that attract bees like the areas around the garbage cans

Things you should not do:

Do not give the victim pain medication, stimulants and aspirins unless prescribed by the doctor.
Do not apply tourniquet.

These are just general information. Cases of bites and stings may differ from one person to another. Make sure that you have proper first aid training to effectively assess and treat the victim of insect bites and stings.


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