Spring Break has come and gone now it is time for us to start moving the lawn. When we get outside and start enjoying the sunshine and manicuring our yards we find that insects are out and about. Some of these perceived tiny insects can cause a huge major medical issue if we are not careful.
WebMD gives a great information listed here. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/insect-stings
How Common Are Insect Sting Allergies?
About 2 million Americans have allergies to the venom of stinging insects. Many of these individuals are at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions. Approximately 50 deaths each year in the U.S. are attributed to insect sting allergies.
Some the basic first aid that one may need if stung by a bee or insect would be monitoring for anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction). The new 2015 Guidelines for First Aid by the American Red Cross state that “First Aid Care for Insect Stings
If the person is showing signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 9-1-1 or the designated emergency number immediately and provide appropriate first aid care while you wait for help to arrive.
For an uncomplicated insect sting, use a plastic card (such as a credit card) to scrape the stinger away from the skin. Wash the area with soap and warm water and then apply an antibiotic wound ointment, cream or gel if the person has no known allergies or sensitivities to the ingredients. Cover the site with an adhesive bandage. To reduce swelling and pain, apply a cold pack wrapped in a thin, dry towel to the site.”
The person may show minor symptoms such as swelling, pain, red mark at the sting site. Other symptoms may follow a few minutes to a couple hours later including headache, dizziness, and additional swelling and discomfort. If the sting causes more complicated issues with breathing this is a major medical issue and it is essential to call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person has an epi pen you can assist in administering that epi pen. The 2015 American Red Cross curriculum states “Different brands of epinephrine auto injectors are available, but all work in a similar fashion (and some have audio prompts to guide the user). The device is activated by pushing it against the mid-outer thigh. Once activated, the device injects the epinephrine into the thigh muscle. The device must be held in place for the recommended amount of time (5 to 10 seconds, depending on the device) to deliver the medication. Some medication may still remain in the auto injector even after the injection is complete. After removing the auto injector, massage the injection site for several seconds (or have the person massage the injection site). Handle the used device carefully to prevent accidental needle stick injuries. Place the device in a rigid container, and then give the container to EMS personnel for proper disposal.”
Use caution when assisting others with their epi pens and know what your state law and regulations say is appropriate. Arkansas does have legislation that now allows lays responders who are trained and know how to administer epinephrine to do so.
Arkansas Senate Bill 394 titled: For An Act To Be Entitled AN ACT TO EXPAND PUBLIC ACCESS TO AUTO-INJECTABLE EPINEPHRINE; TO EXPAND IMMUNITY TO INCLUDE AN AUTHORIZED ENTITY THAT PROVIDES PRESCRIBED AUTO INJECTABLE EPINEPHRINE; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Is put in place to allow assistance to more individuals who are in distress due to anaphylaxis.
Overall, make sure the yard is safe and take precautions on treating insect threats before they can become a problem. Enjoy a safe and sting free spring!!