The Medical Guide


Questions and Answers

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...Insect Bites...

  1. What are insect bites?
  2. When to call Emergency Services?
  3. When to contact your Doctor?

1. What are insect bites? Page Top
Stings and bites are usually caused by bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.
The two greatest risks from most insect stings and bites are allergic reaction (which may occasionally be fatal) and infection (more likely and less serious).
A bee will leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Try to remove it as quickly as possible. One way is to gently scrape it out with a blunt-edged object, such as a credit card or a dull knife.
Wash the area carefully with soap and water. Do this two to three times a day until the skin is healed.
Apply a cold pack, an ice pack wrapped in a cloth, or a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.
Give acetaminophen for pain. For pain and itching, give an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, if your child's doctor approves of this; follow dosage instructions for your child's age and weight.
A sting anywhere in the mouth warrants immediate medical attention. That is because stings in the mucous membranes of the mouth can quickly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
You should seek medical care if you note a large skin rash, a large area of swelling around the sting site, or if swelling or pain persists for more than 72 hours.
2. When to call Emergency Services? Page Top
Respiratory Distress
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
Symptoms of Shock
Airway Obstruction, Stridor
3. When to contact your Doctor? Page Top
Bitten by a Tick - Tick Still in Place
Symptoms of Infection / Inflammation
Bitten by a Tick - Fever
Increasing Pain or Swelling at Injury
Allergy Not Responding to Antihistamines
Recent Travel
Pruritus or Nettle Rash
Immune Compromise

The Medical Guide is for information only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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