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General First Aid Information



Insect bites and stings


First Aid

For emergencies (severe reactions):

1. Check the person's airway and breathing. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
2. Reassure the person. Try to keep him or her calm.
3. Remove nearby rings and constricting items because the affected area may swell.
4. Use the person's emergency kit, if they have one. (Some people who have serious insect reactions carry it with them.)
5. If appropriate, treat the person for signs of shock. Remain with the person until medical help arrives.

General steps for most bites and stings:

1. Remove the stinger if still present by scraping the back of a credit card or other straight-edged object across the stinger. Do not use tweezers -- these may squeeze the venom sac and increase the amount of venom released.
2. Wash the site thoroughly with soap and water.
3. Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process.
4. If necessary, take an antihistamine or apply creams that reduce itching.
5. Over the next several days, watch for signs of infection (such as increasing redness, swelling, or pain).

Do Not

Do not apply a tourniquet.
Do not give the person stimulants, aspirin, or other pain medication unless prescribed by the doctor.

Call immediately for medical assistance if

Trouble breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath
Swelling anywhere on the face
Throat feels tight
Feeling weak
Turning blue


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All health care decisions should only be made with consultation from your physician.

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