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How Do You Treat an Insect Sting Injury?

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When a person has suffered an insect sting injury, the first thing that you must do is to check whether the patient is still breathing. If they are not breathing well, make sure to call 911. Look out for hives as well and ask the patient whether they are felling faint. A swollen tongue is also indicative of an emergency that must be attended to immediately. Ask the patient whether they have a history of allergic reactions to insect stings as this will give you deep insight into what you need to do. Once you establish that the patient is not allergic to insect stings, follow the following steps:

1)      Get rid of the stinger. Using your fingernail, press the affected area to establish the exact location of the sting. Use tweezers to grasp and pull the sting, taking care not to press the sting as this could pump more venom thus causing the insect sting injury to worsen. Another effective method is to “swipe” the stinger away using a credit card. You need to be careful to not inject any more of the poison into the blood stream by squeezing the stinger.

2)      Take care of the swelling at the area of the sting injury. The easiest way to do this is to use an icepack and place it on a wet towel on the affected area. If the sting is on any of the limbs, raise it above the level of the heart to improve blood circulation.

3)      Remove any jewelry at the site of the sting for the simple reason that once the area undergoes swelling, it becomes very hard to remove the jewelry then. In addition, this causes more pain to the patient.

4)      Address the symptoms of the insect sting injury to ensure that you alleviate the patient’s condition. Pain is the most common symptom, so you want to provide analgesics for pain relief. Ibuprofen will work just fine. It is vital to note that you must never administer aspirin to anyone below the age of 18.

If the patient complains of feeling itchy, make sure that you help with administering anti-histamines or an epi-pen for severe allergic reactions.   The alternative to this is the application of calamine lotion. For a home-made solution, use baking soda and water.

5)      Make sure to follow-up a few days after the insect sting injury to see to it that the injured area

NB- there are patients who will get an insect sting injury and suffer from anaphylactic shock. The moment you see that someone has such an attack; make sure that you seek emergency services whether or not there are any symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Shallow breathing.
  • Constriction of the airways.
  • Hoarse voice
  • Abdominal pain that is sometimes accompanied by vomiting.
  • Constant loss of consciousness.

Prior to helping with any medication make sure you are aware of the 5 rights of medication. Individuals that enrol in first aid training will learn about recognizing and managing severe allergic reactions and how to help with medications such as epinephrine injectors. Inject epinephrine as soon as possible especially because a delay will cause the situation to worsen. Go through the instructions carefully to make sure that the patient is well served. Perform CPR in the event that the individual stops breathing. The CPR techniques used in this case will depend on the age of the casualty.

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