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First aid for bee stings

Bee or wasp bites can cause a lot of pain, and in some cases even cause an exaggerated reaction of the body, known as anaphylactic shock, which causes intense difficulty breathing. However, this usually only happens in people who are allergic to bee venom or who are bitten by a lot of bees at the same time, which is not often.

So to help someone who has been bitten by a bee, what they should do is:

  1. Remove the stinger with a forceps or needle if the stinger is still stuck to the skin;
  2. Wash the affected area with cold water and soap;
  3. Pass an antiseptic on the skin, such as iodopovidone, for example;
  4. Apply a pebble of ice wrapped in kitchen paper to reduce swelling and relieve pain;
  5. Pass an ointment for insect bites in the affected area and allow to dry without covering the skin if the redness does not improve.

When stinging of a bee or wasp occurs on the skin, an irritating poison is injected which causes intense local pain, redness, and swelling. This poison usually does not harm and is not harmful to most people, but if the person has a history of allergy, it can cause a more serious reaction, which should be taken care of in the hospital.

First aid for bee stings

How to reduce the swelling caused by the bite

After treating the bite, it is very common for the site to become swollen for a few days, gradually disappearing. However, a good way to reduce this swelling more quickly is to apply ice in the region for 15 minutes, protected with a clean cloth several times a day, as well as sleeping with your hand slightly higher, with a cushion underneath, for example.

However, if the swelling is very severe, a general practitioner may also be consulted to start using an antihistamine remedy which, in addition to reducing swelling, also improves discomfort and itching on the spot.

When to go to an emergency room

Signs and symptoms that indicate an exaggerated allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting are:

  • Increased redness, itching, and swelling in the area of the sting;
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing saliva;
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, or throat;
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded.

If these symptoms are identified, you should call an ambulance or take the victim to the hospital immediately because it is a serious situation that could be life-threatening.

In addition, if the sting happens in your mouth or if you were bitten by several bees at the same time, an evaluation should be done at the hospital.


Bibliografia

  • SUCUPIRA, Ana Cecilia; ARAÚJO, Rita de Cassia. Manual Primeiros Socorros. São Paulo: 2004. 28.
  • INTERPREV. Manual de Formação: Primeiros Socorros Âmbito Laboral. 2015. Access in 02 Apr 2019
  • AAD. How to treat a bee sting. Link: <www.aad.org>. Access in 02 Apr 2019
  • MINISTRY OF HEALTH NEW ZEALAND. Bee and wasp stings. Link: <www.health.govt.nz>. Access in 02 Apr 2019
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