What Is The First Aid For Ticks And Stings

Wasps And Bee Sting First Aid

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What Treatment Do You Give For Ticks, Wasps And Bee Stings

The Australian and New Zealand Committee on Resuscitation (ANZCOR) makes the following Recommendations in summary for envenomation stings and bites:

1. The major immediate risk to the health of persons bitten or stung by insects is anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), although this is rare. First Aid should be focused on the prevention, recognition, and treatment of anaphylaxis.

2. For insect stings with no history or evidence of allergy, treatment should be symptomatic with local measures such as cold packs except for ticks, as the cold pack placement may disturb the tick, triggering an allergic reaction.

3. Tick bite treatment should be freezing the tick in place and further treatment by a healthcare professional according to the advice at www.allergy.org.au and www.tiara.org.au.

Single stings from a bee, wasp, or ant, while painful, seldom cause serious problems except for persons with a severe venom allergy. Multiple insect stings can cause severe pain and widespread skin reaction. Multiple stings around the face can cause severe local swelling and difficulty breathing even if the person is not known to be allergic to that insect.

It is important to remember that bee stings leave behind the venom sac and sting that continues to inject venom into the skin, whilst a wasp or ant may sting multiple times without leaving a venom sac attached. Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to ease redness, itching or swelling. If itching or swelling is bothersome, take an oral antihistamine that contains diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine. Avoid scratching the sting area.

Ticks can inject a toxin that may cause local skin irritation or a mild allergic reaction. However, most tick bites cause few or no symptoms. A tick bite may cause a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis in susceptible people, which can be life-threatening. This can also occur in people with no previous exposure or known susceptibility. This means that managing all tick bites requires caution, as advised by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

How Would You Remove A Bee Stinger Embedded In A Person’s Skin

Only female worker bees and queen bees can sting, and their stinger is referred to as a modified ovipositor. A honeybee’s stinger is made of two barbed lancets. Once the bee stings, it is not able to remove the stinger and as it separates its body from the bite site, it leaves behind not only the stinger but also part of its abdomen. For a bee to sting anything is a death sentence. This massive abdominal rupture is what kills the bee. The stinger may look like a tiny black dot or a small thorn in your skin. You can remove it by scraping the skin with a fingernail, a leaf, a stick, or any flat surface. Do not squeeze the area and avoid using tweezers. These options can unintentionally release more venom into the skin and exacerbate the initial amount of injected venom, increasing pain levels for the person stung.

How Long Will A Bee Stinger Continue To Inject Venom Until It Is Removed

 A bee stinger has barbs designed to be inserted but not removed easily. A stinger typically stays lodged in the skin, releasing venom continuously until it is physically removed. Wasps don’t leave their stingers behind, so wasps can, and do, sting multiple times, and you will receive repeated stings from a wasp that you cannot get from a bee. 

How Long After A Bee Sting Can Anaphylaxis Occur

Anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting can start within two hours of the incident and will rapidly progress from that point with the person requiring immediate emergency First Aid. If they have known allergies and carry one, administering adrenalin via an EpiPen is a critical life-saving step in providing First Aid. Hives will develop on the face and body, followed by other symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing and swallowing, leading to panic.

Can You Get Lymes Disease In Australia

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted in a tick bite. The types of tick that carry the bacteria are not native to Australia. It is highly unlikely you will be infected with Lyme’s disease while in Australia if bitten by an Australian tick. However, Lyme’s disease is endemic to other countries, and if bitten by a tick in one of those countries, you may bring the infection to Australia. The Australian government recognises the existence of classical Lyme disease found in high rates in endemic areas, predominantly in the USA, some areas of Europe, including the UK and some parts of Asia.  

How Do I Remove A Tick

Immediate removal of the tick in its entirety is the treatment for tick bite First Aid. However, ticks are notoriously difficult to remove in their entirety once they have burrowed their head into the skin. If not removed correctly, the head will snap off and remain under the skin requiring a minor local area anaesthetic and removal by a medic or trained first aider.

The most immediate tick removal technique uses fine-tipped or pointed tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, ensuring you have as much of the body and head as possible and a firm grasp (they put up a good fight). With firm, steady pressure, gently pull the tick straight out. Please, do not twist the tick, or it will decapitate itself and complicate your removal process, potentially requiring more advanced medical treatment.

While there is always conjecture on the topic, products designed to freeze, such as Wart Freeze or any form of Ice Spray, will effectively freeze the tick to death. Once dead, the jaws release and the tick will fall out in most cases without further intervention. Pay particular attention to ensuring the head of the tick has been removed from the body regardless of the removal option you choose. A tick head left in the body can cause other medical issues and infections leading to sepsis, and in the worst-case scenario, if left untreated may cause death from septic shock.

Once you have removed your culprit, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, hand sanitiser or soap and water. If out bush and you have none of those things, pine sap and crushed pine needles (washed first) have an antibacterial property that will do a laymen’s job of disinfecting the bite site and cleaning the hands.

If you have difficulty removing all parts of the tick, seek immediate medical attention. 

Allergic reactions can occur as a complication after any sting or bite and require the appropriate First Aid to address the situation as it unfolds. 

Like most bites and stings, the bite site may remain itchy for a few days after the initial bite and be most irritating around sunset and sunrise. However, if swelling remains or increases or other symptoms persist, please seek immediate medical attention.

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